'Tiger Stripes' cast & director wear Malaysian designer Behati at Cannes premiere

The disruptive high fashion label dressed all three of the film's young stars, as well as groundbreaking filmmaker Amanda Nell Eu in matching magenta numbers, and created a fashion movement worthy of the Croisette.
'Tiger Stripes' cast & director wear Malaysian designer Behati at Cannes premiere

When I met Amanda Nell Eu and her producer Foo Fei Ling in Qatar, during the Doha Film Institute's Qumra industry incubator, I knew I was in the presence of powerful women. Now, don't misunderstand me, as both Amanda and Fei are kind and beautiful, but they exude a powerful vibe, as those who make great cinema often do.

Unsurprisingly,Tiger Stripes created a movement in Cannes and part of that movement also had to do with the first rule of film making: dress the part.

Zafreen Zairizal wearing Behati in Cannes

Before arriving on the Croisette, Fei sent me a few photos of the cast and Amanda getting fitted for their upcoming premiere, by Malaysian high fashion label Behati. The maison comes from the vision of Malaysian Chinese designer Kel Wen, who created Behati as "the first high fashion label in Malaysia that produces dedicated collection to the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Iban culture," as his bio reads. Kel Wen is a creative force that can boast also having directed and produced car commercials for the Volkswagen Arteon and Golf series, featuring with fashion elements. Among the celebrities from Malaysia he has a great following and has dressed Dato Sri Siti Nurhaliza’s Behati ensembles for ‘Kuasa Cintamu’ music video and her second maternity shoot, his music video directorial debut ‘Boneka’ by Ernie Zakri, following by his second directorial music video ‘Ku Ikhlaskan’ by Dato Seri Vida, and Aina Abdul’s viral black rose dress for the 34th ABPBH awards.

Deena Ezral wearing Behati at the 'Tiger Stripes' premiere

More recently, the brand was embroiled in a bit of a controversy, which is to be expected with anything cool these days. Some trolled Kel Wen after the introduction of Behati's latest campaign, and accused him of having appropriated Malay fashion. Kel Wen's vision is all about reinterpreting the traditional Malaysian dress and his latest collection flaunts the Baju Melayu Oversaiz Viral and the brand's best seller Baju Atas in colorful shades and bright, contemporary materials. As Kel Wen is Chinese Malaysian, Malays on social media were getting upset that he was "borrowing" their traditional dress and making fun of it -- which of course wasn't the case, as often designer borrow from world cultures out of complete admiration.

As a current example, Maria Grazia Chiuri's latest Dior collections are based in India and Mexico and, much like Behati, the brand also employed local artisans to embellish the designs.

Piqa in Behati in Cannes

Anyway, let us agree that art -- and fashion is undeniably an art form -- should always walk the line and push the envelope, making people think and discuss. So of course, Behati and Kel Wen came out of the recent controversy unscathed and perhaps, even more popular than before.

For the Tiger Stripes red carpet looks, Behati came up with three custom-made outfits for Zafreen Zairizal, who plays Zaffan, Deena Ezral, who plays Farah and Piqa, who plays Mariam. These feature the oversized silhouette Kel Wen is famous for, in bright magenta silk covered with black tiger-like stripes (made out of different luxury materials like lace and sequins). Each is different and unique and suited for the young woman wearing it, which was simply a delight to observe up close.

The film's director Amanda Nell Eu, wearing Behati for the premiere of 'Tiger Stripes' in Cannes

For the film's director Amanda Nell Eu, he designed magenta trousers and a black bodysuit, with two oversized roses featured on the bosom, an outfit which suited the former rockstar to a T.

These beautiful looks made the crowd explode in applause when the cast and crew took to the stage to introduce the film, at their premiere inside the Miramar theater. Tiger Stripes premiered as part of the Critics' Week lineup and is in competition for a few awards, including the coveted Camera d'Or, awarded to a filmmaker in Cannes with their first feature.

For more information on Behati, check out their website and stay tuned to TFV Middle East for more ways to watch Tiger Stripes, a film which cannot be missed and was reviewed by Stephen Dalton for TFV.

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