The 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese Lunar calendar heralds a time when the moon is at its brightest and when we celebrate the Mid-Autumn season. While this is traditionally a festival celebrated by the Chinese, the sentiment of gratitude, giving and family reunion echoes those also celebrated during Christmas. With this in mind, celebrated fashion designer Melinda Looi has collaborated with the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur on a collection of festive products that combines all the good cheer of joyous reunion seasons with the creative flair inspired by Malaysian traditions for this year’s mooncake season.
The House of Shí Wǔ is a Mid-Autumn advent calendar that is styled as a Peranakan-themed doll house that takes you down memory lane, when we would celebrate Mid-Autumn with sweet-treats, lanterns and whimsical childhood games. The house exterior, thoughtfully crafted from wood and prints, is an homage to the timeless architecture and motifs found in historical Straits homes scattered across the country.
According to Melinda Looi, the inspiration behind this Mid-Autumn collaboration with The Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is, naturally, credited to family. “In my house, being Malaysian, we celebrate everything, and I think it’s very important for my children to celebrate their culture,” Looi says. “I was inspired by the Christmas advent calendars where a surprise is waiting for my kids every day. Although the Mid-Autumn festival has been celebrated for generations, it is not typically celebrated in a big way here. We wanted to create something with a twist, that was also fun, making the celebration last throughout the 15 days. With the House of Shí Wǔ, there are 15 surprises waiting for you starting on the first day of Mid-Autumn, which I believe is on the 27th of August this year.”
Sustainability was also at the heart of the thought process for Melinda Looi when creating this Mid-Autumn collaboration. “I didn’t want something that would disintegrate or that people would discard after one-time use,” she explains. “The house is crafted from wood; the motifs are printed directly on to the doors. Everything from the canvas tote bag to the surprise toys and knick-knacks are made with the intention that they can be re-used or kept as keepsakes.” The designer’s creativity and signature style is also evident in the collaboration. In it, you will find a scarf with Melinda’s stamp on it. “My team and I decided to design a scarf that marked the tradition and celebration of the Mid-Autumn season,” she says. “It depicts everything that you know from the Mid-Autumn festival, from the Moon Goddess Chang E to little details like the water caltrop nuts that look like a bull’s head that typically can be found during the season are on it.”
As for the mooncakes themselves, tradition is also not forgotten. The four mooncakes you will find in the House of Shí Wǔ are much-loved classics such as red bean, pandan, white lotus with double yolk and a traditional Shanghainese hard crust mooncake with yam and single yolk. Among the surprises are also premium teas that are customarily paired with the mooncakes, fortune cookies and candies.
The House of Shí Wǔ Mid-Autumn mooncake collection is now available for pre-orders at the Grant Hyatt online store for an early bird price of RM288.
For bulk purchases, please contact: [email protected].