The exotic heliconia by resident,Yoek Choy
It was a hot sweltering day when I made my way to Heidelberg Kaffehause, Solaris Dutamas 1, KL to attend the charity hi -tea tagged Debut of Cheshire Designers in collaboration with Pink Jambu. When I arrived I was warmly greeted by familiar faces - Cheshire Council members and the residents themselves. 'Hey! we should be in bikinis to stay cool!' I joked! Well, what was to follow - the casual wear was real 'cool'. I have to say outright, it was a fashion show with a DIFFERENCE!
After a brief welcome by Council member, Mej Habibah and then a speech by our ever- hardworking president, Datuk Paduka Khatijah Suleiman, the show got underway.
In walked the first Economic Empowerment (EEP) student with a model to show off her artwork. Together they walked towards the VVIP table, to much applause all round. Ooops! in her excitement, being the first artist to start the ball rolling, she tripped and fell. We rewarded her with a bigger round of applause - jitters is so normal. But hey, it's her BIG day - her artwork of the dragonfruit is imprinted and turned into high fashion. Eyes followed with much expectancy as more students took their turns down the Kaffehause catwalk.
I enjoy the dragonfruit - the deeper the colour the more I relish it and try to bite at the black bits(reminds me of the selasih seeds!). But watching more display of the dragonfruit as motifs cleverly and aesthetically imprinted on tablecloths, table runners, tea cosy, soft toys, etc. slowly but surely, I fell in love with the unwieldy looking cacti. Art by these residents have turned the tables on the dragon fruit - a beauty to behold!
To think the humble dragonfruit grown in their backyard is not forgotten! The plot of land beyond the residential quarters of Cheshire Home grow dragonfruit. As I have observed, the EEP students have been faithfully tending to this garden as farmers - learning a new skill . Fruits are harvested and sold . Drawing artistic inspiration from the 1000 plants, a new extended activity of the garden holds even more promise of sustainability for the EEP programme.
The feather logo, representative of Cheshire Homes worldwide, also got its oohhs and aahhs from the guests. Pn Khatijah, president of Selangor Cheshire Home was seen wearing a lovely chiffon outfit with the feather embellished on corners of her flowing selendang. It really had a delicate touch to it. 'Stay with us and don't fly away!', someone joked.
The luscious red dragon fruits!
How prettily the dragon fruit sits on the apron!
Good looking jumbo
Each and everyone of the EEP students have every reason to be very proud of themselves. Under the guidance of fashion house designer and owner, Tengku Marina of Pink Jambu, this collaborative programme makes a lot of sense - not only in ringgit sense but in empowering the disabled to enhance their skills . I was especially thrilled to witness Doris, Yoek Choy and S. Ming, our regular attendees at the Sunshine Group activities doing their lap of honour among the guests. Doris' art was a Christmas theme. What an eye-catcher and a great conversation piece too! So, come Christmas, I expect more sales will be generated.
Everyone, including some royalties among the VVIPS enjoyed the debut. Even the few men who were present were really appreciative of the display of artistic talent.
Judging by the generous applause and comments of the guests, the fruition of some months of brain storming work have reaped positive response. The smiles on the faces of the artists say a lot too, though nervous as they were on the their catwalk. This platform to provide more artistic expression for the EEP programme is really innovative.
Food was nice, delicate little bites of canapes, buffet-style. Singing and dancing filled in to make it informal and lively.
Council member, Dato' Ghazali in his element entertaining with Besame Mucho. Close your eyes and just listen to him croon!
All in all, it was a short and sweet event - to showcase the artists' work which have turned into beauties that they themselves would not have dreamed of had it remained on a piece of paper. I would say, Cheshire Home folks, its a feather in YOUR cap! To add, let's take it to the world!
Proud artist, Doris beside the model
Tie a knot for the pretty top - simply gorgeous with the dragonfruit motif
Artists at work in Cheshire Home with Tengku Marina Ibrahim and her team of helpers. Colours of inspiration and hope.
S. Ming waving to me . A happy and colourful day indeed!
Simple and attractive - tea for two, anyone?
Spread the cheer, celebrate the power of empowering the disabled - with style you can even wear a tablecloth !
Guests in lovely attires - adding dollops of colourful splashes to the event.
The attractive display of home items in Pink Jambu shop
President Datuk Paduka Khatijah Suleiman and owner of fashion House, Pink Jambu, Tengku Marina Ibrahim with the team taking a bow. Kudos to a great accomplishment!
Selangor Cheshire Home
68100 Batu Caves, Selayang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: 603 6138 7118/ 6136 6151
Solaris Dutamas 1
Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur