2020 has been QUITE...A...YEAR!
For many of us, the most challenging part would be when the MCO was first announced.
Families were forced to stay apart, many were told to work from home, children could not go to school and basically, most of our lives were turned upside down.
Throughout the tough period, we also saw many Malaysians stepping up.
Strangers helping strangers and showers of thanks and respect were given to all the frontliners who kept us safe and kept the country running while the majority of us stayed safely at home.
Feeling grateful, thankful and amazed at the unity and love shown by Malaysians towards one another primarily in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, 31-year-old designer Pavithra Varathan had a sudden inspirational idea.
It all started with a unique idea
"I make designer sarees for a living under my brand Zobha
, and my team and I were actually looking at doing something special for Merdeka and the idea just suddenly came to me," said Pavithra when contacted by Rojak Daily
Pavitra said that knowing exactly what she wanted to create, it only took her a day to come up with the design for the saree.
As pictured in her mind, the main body of the saree had multiple prints of the crescent and 14-point star present on the Jalur Gemilang while the pleats at the bottom had bold red and white stripes.
"It was the pallu
that took a slightly longer time for me to figure out," she said.
For those of you that tak tahu
, the pallu
is often the most elaborate part of a saree.
It is the loose end of the traditional apparel and often includes a slightly different or grander design.
The pallu is generally what you will see draped over the shoulder when someone wears a saree.
Making the idea a reality
"I finally settled on a border which had iconic Malaysian buildings including the KL Tower and the Twin Towers and decided to include a large print of Tunku Abdul Rahman on it too," said Pavithra when speaking about designing the pallu
Pavithra also understood that the saree was not something that she wanted to sell but a piece that should be on display.
"In fact, we are currently in talks with the Nasional Museum to include this special saree as part of their display and we are sorting out the copyright and other requirements at the moment," she said.
Pavithra also knew that the saree could not end with being just a unique apparel.
"When I was creating the saree, I had goosebumps. What am I really making?"
"I knew that it was more than that. I did not want people to just look at it, I wanted the message to be stronger. I also knew that not everyone had the patriotic spirit in them and I wanted the saree to be an anchor piece for a bigger campaign," she said adding that she then planned a bigger campaign and contacted a number of notable names to join in.
Malaysian models and Merdeka-born twins Thanuja and Anuja Ananthan were roped in to model the unique piece and other figures including Shikin Gomez, Christy Ng, Dahlia Nadirah and Carey Ng were brought in too.
The icons not only modeled but also provided thoughts and insights relating to the country.
"I created a replica of the saree for the twins to wear and the rest wore other creations from my collection," said Pavithra adding that a special photoshoot was arranged for the group.
Also part of the campaign was a video which features interviews with actual frontliners.
"It was so touching because we got to shine the spotlight on deserving frontliners and hear about their experiences throughout the peak of the pandemic," she said explaining that the video would be released on Merdeka.
What a wonderfully unique way to instil the patriotic spirit among Malaysians.
Well done to Pavithra and her team!
To enjoy the campaign, check our Zobha's social media accounts.