Fine Food, Fashion And Treasures At Chapter 2 Of The Datai Langkawi’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations

Sunsets at The Datai Langkawi are made for soirées. As the skies burn with the flames of sundown, the tide draws back to uncover more of the pristine beach. Meanwhile, lights around the five-star resort glitter as gently as the stars, and the entire tableau is ripe with magic and possibility.

To mark Chapter 2 of its year-long 30th-anniversary celebrations, The Datai Langkawi put on a spectacular evening of fashion, fine food, and one-of-a-kind items for auction. While Chapter 1 was a celebration of community that honoured partners such as NGO Green Growth Asia Foundation, Chapter 2 shone a spotlight on the arts and crafts that have come to define culture at The Datai Langkawi.

For 10 days in June and July, the resort commemorated successful creative partnerships from across the region that have breathed life into its day-to-day activities and atmosphere. Designers and brand partners from all over Southeast Asia were invited to participate in or host a series of events ranging from interactive sessions for guests to exhibits and pop-ups by the likes of Kapten Batik and eco-friendly premium swimwear brand Ozero.

The exhibits included batik masterclasses by homegrown studios Suria Artisan Batik and Kapten Batik, a wood upcycling workshop by Harith The Green Carpenter, glass bottle upcycling with Beatrice Hew, a custom-designed minaudière masterclass with luxury clutch designer and metal craftsman Neil Felipp, a jewellery sculpture demonstration by the illustrious Jonathan Yun, and beaded jewellery designing with Ranong Peru.

Although most of these designers have select collections on display at The Datai Langkawi’s elegant Boutique throughout the year, some also added beautiful jewellery, bags or fashion collections to The Dia Showroom at The Atelier, an upscale destination on-site curated exclusively by Dia Guild. This regional platform championing ethical fashion, handmade gifts, and extraordinary accessories by artisanal Southeast Asian brands was founded by Kylie Francis, Alia Farouk, and Aisha Hassan, a trio of enterprising Malaysians. Dia Guild was a key partner for the Chapter 2 festivities, hosting a craft conservation session, a historical batik exhibit, and the celebration’s closing event—a glamorous fashion show and charity auction woven into one exquisite evening.

In the days leading up to this, participating designers from around the region landed at Langkawi and found the long weekend in this idyllic slice of heaven conducive not only to building professional and customer networks, but also to forming genuine social and creative relationships with their peers. Collaboration opportunities were mentioned in the same sentence as quickly-established inside jokes and personal confidences, a testament to the meeting of minds and shared interests.

And as the sun set on a bright and balmy Saturday evening, with the sea breeze swaying fronds and cooling a crowd gathered poolside for al fresco cocktails, the thump of music uplifted the tempo of the evening and cued a bevy of models to strut by wearing contemporary designs from Fern Batik’s brand new Marine series, appropriately framed by the ocean in the background.

Dusk settled and the crowd did so too beneath makeshift clear tents set up next to The Beach Club & Bar for a sumptuous 6-hand dinner by chefs Chai Chun Boon, The Datai Langkawi’s Senior Chef de Cuisine; Shaun Ng from Hide in Kuala Lumpur; and Su Kim Hock from the one-Michelin-starred Restaurant Au Jardin in Penang.

A second catwalk within the dining area, demarcated by a red carpet, then premiered the breezy, tropical designs of Khoon Hooi’s A Cotton Story collection, new to his eponymous label. While these infinitely wearable designs enticed guests to be the first to don them in summer, a silent auction running throughout the event also tempted them to open their wallets and hearts. 

One-of-a-kind items up for bid were also gifted by Dia Guild’s design partners, such as Neil Felipp, Pubumésu, Sophia by Shirley, and Zacarias 1925. Alia Bastamam, who had also previously showcased her designs at The Datai Langkawi, also personally donated The Alicia Dress for the auction, with the fit customised to suit the recipient. Proceeds from the auction would be channeled to The Datai Pledge, a Private Trust dedicated to improving the well-being of Langkawi’s environment, wildlife and local community.

As the evening drew to a close, guests were pleasantly sated by excellent food, fortified by wine, and enlivened by the tempo set by local live band Mix N Match and guest DJ Amy Margerax. Dia Guild co-founder Aisha Hassan expressed her gratitude to The Datai Langkawi for this incredible opportunity to gather like-minded creative spirits and discerning guests to celebrate the holy trifecta of fine food, fun fashion, and fabulous unique treasures that earned lucky bidders bragging rights and a contributing role to sustaining the environment and community that make The Datai Langkawi an Eden in Malaysia.

The Datai Langkawi

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