SUBANG JAYA: Barbie doll’s wardrobe is filled with Western fashions – so much so that local fashion designer Adrian Ong decided to add variety to the iconic mannequin’s sartorial selections by creating an alternative line of muslimah and traditional, multi-ethnic Malaysian outfits.
The 57-year-old Peranakan man from Kampung Lapan, Melaka, said he was inspired to expand Barbie’s wardrobe while managing Jumble Station (JS) – a shop which collects and sells donated items which are still in good condition.
Ong established JS with Mary Ann Tan, his mentor for Parent Without Partner Bhd (PWP), an association which assists single mothers and fathers from all backgrounds, which he also runs.
“At JS, some of the items are given to needy single parents, while the rest are sold, with proceeds going to single parents.
“We get many dolls from the public, therefore I decided to apply my skills in making traditional clothes on the dolls.
“Using donated dolls and cloth from donated clothes, I started to design muslimah and traditional attire,” he said when met recently.
Ong said his muse for Barbie’s outfits is popular singer Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.
In fact, in his career, Ong has designed wedding attire for a number of Malaysian celebrities, including Vanida Imran, Rashidi Ishak, Datuk AC Mizal and Datin Emylia Rosnaida Abdul Hamid.
But 10 years ago, Ong decided to slow down and turn his attention to charity work. That is when he joined PWP.
At present, Adrian has designed over 400 traditional outfits for Barbie, including kebaya, baju kurung, cheongsam, sari, Baba Nyonya wedding dress, Nyonya kebaya, Punjabi attire and modest outfits.
He said it takes him between two weeks and a month to complete each design.
“The process is tiring, especially when it comes to accessories, because I do everything on my own, including the ‘sanggul cucuk and mahkota’ (for the hair),” Ong said.
The designer is now in the midst of completing a few more designs, as well as waiting for shoes and display stands for the dolls which he ordered from China, before he begins selling them under the PWP label.
“I am planning to sell them online too,” he added.
Translated from Harian Metro