Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - In New Zealand, nobody does it like Dara Lee




In New Zealand, nobody does it like Dara Lee

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A model shows off the costume creation of Lee Dara Punleu, aka Dara Lee, in New Zealand. Photo supplied

In New Zealand, nobody does it like Dara Lee

Despite not winning the best-in-show award like he did last year, Khmer designer Lee Dara Punleu, 23, was selected people’s choice at the Best Edible Fashions contest in New Zealand for his traditional Kenor costume made of kitchen products.

Known as Dara Lee, the designer has lived on the island nation since he was a young boy, but has gotten encouragement and recognition from fans worldwide via social media.

Kenor, a traditional dance costume popularised during the reign of King Sisowath, was reimaged in an offbeat way when Dara Lee constructed his outfit using pizza boxes, plastic plates and spoons, bottles, cans, buckets, pasta, aluminium and paper.

Held annually in New Zealand since 2006, the Edible Fashion Awards showcase creative designers who make clothing and jewellery from household or food products.

Sure enough, when voting closed on Sunday, Dara Lee’s photo had gotten the most votes out of all 47 contestants and was awarded the 2018 Sprouts In-Home Childcare People’s Choice Award.

Catching up with The Post, Dara Lee said, “I am very thankful . . . I’m waiting for [the judges] to contact me, then I will know what I am going to do next.” Giving a shout out to all the supporters in his native country, he posted: “I will try with all my best efforts to promote Khmer arts and Khmer culture to the world.”

The young man who studies 3D animation confirmed he intends to keep showing pieces that advance Khmer traditional arts, saying, “next year, I will compete in a similar event. It’s a larger platform called ‘World of Wearable Arts’”.

The designer of the year award went to Katherine Bertram, whose “There Are Many More Fish in the Sea” garment was made from rice paper, squid ink and dried anchovies, mackerel and fish skin.

“Peace and Diversity” was the theme of the contest this year, while last year’s was “Myth and Legend”.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last