Archive for Malaysia

Harpers Bazaar Malaysia – Harlette Swim

Posted in Beachwear, BIKINI, Caribbean, Fashion, Fashion Design, Fashion Week, Harlette, Lace, Lifestyle, Luxury Swim, SWIMMING, Swimwear with tags , , , , , on March 29, 2016 by harlette


had this to say on the new Harlette Swim collection


Deep blue sea meets the landscape of an islandic skyline | Harlette Swim


Contemporary spin on animal prints, bringing to life the merge of Safari and Swim | Harlette Swim

To see the article click here

BAZAAR EXCLUSIVE: Best Styles from International Swim Fashion Week 2016






Is the Scantily Clad Lingerie Model, on the Way Out?

Posted in Braconomics, Dubai, Fashion, Haute Couture, Luxury Lingerie, Saudi Arabia, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by harlette

After lasts weeks look at Bracononics Part 2 this week we get to ask the question

Is the scantily clad Lingerie model, on the way out?


Headlines around the world have covered the first 26 Saudi Arabian graduates trained in the Art of Selling Lingerie. Harlette have been clearly paying attention to this story and for very good reason, as Harlette Luxury Lingerie trained them.The Star newspaper in Malaysia recently ran this article on the Saudi Arabia lingerie campaign.


Since I have returned to Sydney from Jeddah, via London and Kuala Lumpur, I regret that I have not had the contemplation time to review the events, the reactions and the future for the lingerie campaign in Saudi Arabia in the manner I wish to.

What I have noticed though, is the reaction of people, the line of questions and the general sensationalistic attitudes that people hold to the Saudi Arabian society. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be writing about sex and Saudi Arabia in the same sentence.

Yet it appears that, sex, sex appeal, and the effect of lingerie in the Saudi Arabian society is the topic most allured to in communications from reporters, friends, family and associates. I have tried to get people back on track and talk about the graciousness, the openess, the kindness and the self worth of women that I have encountered.


So instead of avoiding the issue of Sex in Saudi, by watching sex and the city reruns and a bit of Nip & Tuck. Its time to write about it, its time to face the fact, that I stood with my top off, , just in my bra for half an hour to encourage a group of women I had never met before to overcome the fear of fitting a bra, as reported in the newpaper.


Deep breathe , deep breath…This act of bravery, actually was the pivot point in gaining trust, overcoming the idea of acceptable modesty and possibly separating the issue away from piety (Taqwa) for just one moment, in the safety of the classroom environment.

In days to follow, the abaya was removed for many students, yet some refrained for I can understand that to keep it on may have kept a level of personal safety, one could remain pious, while still learning what was being demonstrated. One could feel safe for I agree one could feel very safe behind an abaya, it was like the invisible cloak, every imperfection, every flaw, everything that one could see about ones physical body was suddenly out of the equation.


Yet the decoration, and embellishment still could make a person feel the effects of a class structure etc. Indeed the idea of what is behind the abaya is infinitely more interesting than anything else in Saudi Arabia. So has Islam got it right???


Is the scantily clad lingerie model, on the way out especially given the birth rate of 3.83, Saudi is 49th highest in the world according to the CIA .When you compare this to China the 158th country in the world with a rate of 1.79. Does the world really find modesty more sexually provocative than the open canvas of page 3 glamour models and Victoria secrets Christmas parades.


Is what, the mind imagines what is under the abaya, infinitely more sexually arousing to a man than actually seeing the lingerie. Is the abaya really a sex symbol in its own right? I would love to do a study on this.


Seriously the main questions I was asked by very intelligent men, with great professions were as follows

  1. Did you see a beheading?  No, but if it’s any conciliation I did visit the place that they took place in.
  2. Did I see a stoning , No, remember I was there giving a lecture series in a women’s only college and outside of this, I was visiting lingerie stores , talking with male shop assistants, that had clearly never seen the likes of a customer like me before and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce.
  3. Women were mainly intrigued with how comfortable it was to wear the abaya and how it felt to wear it. It was liberating, it was freeing and you felt safe wearing the abaya.
  4. I did conduct field experimentation, by wearing a knee length skirt, full jacket and my knee high boots under the abaya and I have to say it was a very crazy new experience. It felt so right but so wrong all at the same time. Although I was not doing anything wrong, I knew that there was about 2 to 3 cm of skin exposed between where the boot finished and the hem line of the skirt ended. The feeling of the abaya against my skin was somehow rather decadent.

Its not my place to quote sections of Islamic literature or highlight moral, spiritual or ethical laws, for I have never lived in Saudi Arabia, I have never been educated in Qur’an and I have never experienced anything more than the two weeks I was lecturing.

I could demonstrate my researching abilities by throwing in a reference or two, but that is not my place in this world, I will leave this to dedicated scholars that have taken the years to study the text, and make informed interpretations that will not morally offend anyone.

My place is simply to observe and report the experience that surrounded my trip related to art of selling lingerie in Saudi Arabia, the future role that women will play in this dynamic industry and the crazy folk back home that do not stop for a second to think that Saudi Arabian people are just the same as you and I.

Ok, there may be a rich tapestry of dynastic royal families, an oil well or two in a few back gardens and of course the old point about Mohammed v’s Jesus. Essentially we are the same, and whether one wears an abaya out to do a spot of shopping, and such, should not create such a sexual hysteria in the minds of our global consciousness.


Seriously people get over it, let people live their lives according to how they see fit, and France beware that banning the burka, or an abaya is only going to drive the demand and the desire to wear it in the west even higher. Prejudicial behaviour because of one’s attire is hypocritical, especially when the west set out to liberate all in the name of what good for a nation..


Think of how badly we have treated Punks, nuns, hippies, Jews and Muslims alike for a way that they have dressed. Even poor old Jordon, Miss Katie Price gets torn to shreds when she gives the public what they want, when she glams it up like only a glamour model knows best, forums of chat rooms, pages of tabloids critize her for her short skirts, and platform boots and shock horror a cleavage showing outfit or two.


I think society needs to work out what they want, so it’s ok to be one thing in a flat lifeless page, but to live it and breathe it is another thing. We love Victoria Secrets Christmas Parades but do you want to live with a scantily clad glamazon 24 hrs a day???

Men I believe you will answer no, why because it would require you to be the glamazon’s equal 24 hrs a day, surely you would encounter performance issues, caring issues, hair issues, and his or hers times at the tanning salon will get all muddled up.


With an Abaya it keeps it simple, it keeps it in the mind, it’s give society to time to plan, time to imagine and a right time and place for whatever it is that you are thinking in the first place.

Big Carrie

So now that I have written, and thought about Sex and Saudi Arabia in the same sentence, can I get back to Sex in the City re runs…I love the Big and Carrie romance so much… for yes I am in love with a fairytale…

 After all isn’t the Abaya part of it…

The Saudi Arabia fairytale that is…..


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Dressing For Dinner Have We Lost The Art?

Posted in 10 Downing St, Diamonds, Dubai, Elite Traveller, Fashion, Fashion Design, Haute Couture, London, Los Angeles, Private Jet, Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, Saudi Arabia, Sydney, Twitter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2009 by harlette

dsc034701Yesterday was the beginning of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, A few extra heart beats were raised for Dizingo, there were a few oohs and ahhh’s from the wonderful Anessia, one punter/fashionista exlaimed oh she looks like a princess and a lot of BRIGHT ROCK AND ROLLER for Wayne Cooper.


I was fortunate to be backstage when Bianca Dye interviewed Wayne and was put to shame earlier in the afternoon when I realised that the gentleman sat next to me in front row at ready to wear 1 was twittering away. His name was ImeldaMatt for those who follow. He was taking pic’s of the shoes featured in each designers collection. Each to there own, some people like lingerie, some like clothes, some do bags and other do shoes.


Leading up to fashion week I was having a moment with the worlds most expensive dinner attire, there was loads of it about, it appears that in these interesting fiscal times its great to see that other designers apart from myself are saying down with with economic sensibilites, up with glamour, up with prices and up with the types of materials that are used in their garments.. HOOORAY HENRY..

airediamondThe creme of the crop goes to Malaysian designer Faisol Abdullah by creating the world’s most expensive dress decorated with 751 diamonds from Middle Eastern jeweler Mouawad. The $30 million cocktail number overtakes Chris Aire’s $20 million diamond dress (above) created last year and ties the $30 million diamond bikini in terms of the world’s most expensive item of clothing.

Abdullah plans to debut the silk and taffeta evening gown, which features a central 70 carat pear-shaped diamond and is dubbed the “Nightingale of Kuala Lumpar,” in time for next month’s STYLO Fashion festival in the Malaysian capital. Mouawad, which produces Heidi Klum’s jewelry line, is  a red carpet favourite of Nicole Kidman,  Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears.

 “It’s not throwing $30 million right down the drain, it is an investment for the super-rich.” Nancy Yeoh, chief executive of STYLO which commissioned the dress, says they plan to present the garment to royal courts around the world starting with the Middle East, noting, “It’s art and there are still enough rich people who would want to buy.”

Yet its not all fun and games for the girls you know the lads in London like to lash out on some new threads on  occasions too. £70,000 pounds on a suit to an international man of mystery indeed.. James Blonde maybe.

_45688057_007204377-1It took more than 80 hours to make the one-off suit from Arctic wool, qiviuk, and rare South American wool, vicuna. Designer Alexander Amosu said: “I firmly believe that in the wake of the recession, there is still a demand for uncompromising quality.” The suit, which has 18-carat gold and diamond buttons.It was made with 5,000 individual stitches, equivalent to £14 a stitch. The qiviuk and vicuna wools were blended with pashmina to create a cloth known as Vanquish II.

I am afraid to say that nothing of this calibre has graced the runways of Sydney thus far, and the hint of meshed mink knitted shrug sitting front row that I thought I’d spotted was ethical fake fur, after being advised by the owner. PETA breathes a sigh of relief, but fur happens, its worn and its not going to be stopped being worn in the colder climates for a long time to come.

Taking a stand on ethics is a personal choice after all, whether to eat Foie gras or veal at lunch/dinner, is a decision one will make on their own like Susan Brown did at the NATO summit banquet , Foie gras was also served to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Michelle Obama and they accepted .

Stella McCartney makes the decision to make ethical fashion wonderfully without leather or fur. Stella fabulously conquers this market segment successfully while many others have tried and failed.

The economics of fashion rages on indefinitely, the cost of materials, the time to make, the time to dream, the time put it all together and send it on its way in a consumable form for clients to enjoy is an age old dilemma. What is the cost of wearable art.

PRIMARK £5 pound suit versus a £70,000 pound jobby, where one stands in line for dressing for dinner I am sure is defined by a suitable gentleman’s guide of etiquette and deportment. In the mean time, the breeze of opulence is rising around the hem lines of many a bright young thing.

Diamonds are forever….


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