Photo by: Derek Stout
Sentosa Silk designer Seng Takak Neary’s collection of silk dresses were a big hit with audiences at Fashion Week on Monday. As well as evening wear, Sentosa Silk’s range includes a number of headpieces described as being inspired by Angkorian-era mythology.
Criticism of Cambodia Fashion Week for including too few Cambod-ian designers in its line-up were blown away on Monday night after a stand-out show by Sentosa Silk’s Seng Takak Neary, who premiered her label’s new range of Khmer traditional silk dresses and accessories.
Seng Takak told The Phnom Penh Post her target market was Cambodian women aged over 35, and she had deliberately stayed away from the youth market to concentrate on designing classic evening dresses and gowns.
“I started a job as a designer because I wanted to promote Cambodian arts, and to overcome old Khmer traditions that say women can’t work as hard as men.
“I have worked hard to stop society from looking down on women, and most of my target market are Cambod-ian women from 35 years old. I am not focusing on young people,” she said.
The Sentosa Silk show received a warm response from the audience, including from 23-year-old Marady Mei, who said Seng Takak had inspired her to continue studying fashion design at the Royal University of Fine Arts.
“This show has opened my eyes to more new ideas about dress designs and decorat-ions.” Marady said.
Speaking backstage after the show, Seng Takak told the Post she hoped participating in Fashion Week would increase international awareness of her clothing label, and that Fashion Week would itself provide a boost to Cambodia’s garment industry.
“Joining events like Fashion Week can help to attract more investors, and when the investors come in they can provide more job opp-ortunities to Cambodian seamstresses and weavers,” she said.
After Seng Takak’s show at the Phnom Penh Railway Stat-ion, Fashion Week continued in style last night beside the pool at Raffles Hotel le Royal, as Jasmine Boutique presented its 2011 spring/summer collection, centred on hand-woven silk shirts and dresses in a variety of designs including French lace.
Cambodia Fashion Week spokeswoman Ellen Jones told the Post that larger and larger audiences had been attending Fashion Week runway shows – a trend she expects will continue tonight at the Romeet Gallery with a show by Khmer-American design label The Academy, which will present a range of clothing inspired by an alternative historical timeline in which Cambodia was never colonised by the French.