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Q&A: Tengku Chanela Jamidah, businesswoman and fashion designer

After the launch of Giuseppe Zanotti’s Fall/ Winter 2016 collection, we stole a moment with Tengku Chanela Jamidah, founder of fashion label Thavia and co-founder of Dida For Women cosmetics. We spoke to the stylish businesswoman about her style icons, favourite holiday destination and which pair of heels from Giuseppe Zanotti’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection caught her eye.

Tengku Chanela Jamidah
Sleek in black, Tengku Chanela Jamidah shows us how to style Natasha — the gorgeous black leather point pumps.

LifestyleAsia (LSA): How would you describe your personal style?

Tengku Chanela Jamidah (TCJ): I’m quite the chameleon. On weekdays when I work I’m in casual, comfortable clothing. Some call it “effortless” or similar to the “model off duty” look. But on evenings when I have events, I love pieces that are a little more dramatic, like key looks of the season. Something that’s trendy and a little more glamorous.

LSA: Favourite daily accessories?

TCJ: Earrings. I feel naked without them. I also love stacking my bracelets and an eclectic selection of rings from ALT.

LSA: Who’s your style icon(s)?

Victoria Beckham and Christine Centenara. Victoria for classic silhouettes and Christine for chic, on-trend pieces. I love how she is always in contemporary Australian labels like Christopher Esber and Ellery.

LSA: How did you get into fashion design?

TCJ: Well, I don’t actually really design, but I am part of the creative process. I provide all the visuals, inspiration pictures and references. But I do personally select the fabrics, which is part of the reason why I do this because I love fabric sourcing. Seeing a creation come to life is part of the thrill I get and it gives me so much satisfaction. I got into fashion because I recognised the need for a Malaysian brand that has everyday versatile pieces at an accessible price point. You don’t have to spend exorbitantly to get the look.

LSA: Can you give us a sneak peek of your upcoming collections? Maybe some themes or key patterns if any?

TCJ: I would say that it has a bit of velvet — the key fabric for 2017. I’m excited as this collection shows that Thavia has matured and developed in it’s identity.

“Shoes are your loyal companions that are with you every single day of your life, so I choose the ones with a little bit of character!”

LSA: What do you do for fun?

TCJ: Dance. I always find time to do a bit of dancing. Music is the one thing that soothes my soul.

LSA: Do you cook? What’s your go-to dishes?

TCJ: I’m not made for the kitchen, but I cook pasta dishes for my kids, made with love. I’m happy they like my cooking!

LSA: Besides hot yoga, do you do any other kind of workout?

TCJ: I do fire station. It’s quite similar to HIIT.

LSA: Beach or city?

TCJ: Right now, beach for sure. Need some relaxation and vitamin sea.

LSA: Coffee or tea?

TCJ: Tea. Coffee gives me headaches. Teh tarik FTW.

LSA: Favourite holiday destination so far?

TCJ: South of France. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve seen. I especially love the countryside… I can imagine myself growing old in that sort of environment.

LSA: Which pair did you choose from Giuseppe Zanotti’s Fall/ Winter 2016 collection?

TCJ: I chose the black patent leather ‘Natasha‘ strappy pumps from Giuseppe Zanotti.

Natasha, from the Giuseppe Zanotti Fall/ Winter 2016 collection.
Natasha, from the Giuseppe Zanotti Fall/ Winter 2016 collection.

LSA: And why this pair?

TCJ: I love black. Its my go-to colour and part of my identity plus it compliments all types of clothing. I really like how the pair I chose has a little bit of height but is also strappy and elegant.

LSA: How would you style them?

TCJ: I would wear them with skinny jeans and off shoulder tops.

LSA: What do you like about the collection?

TCJ: It’s glamorous and a little bit edgy and fun. The heels always look so well created and finished. You can definitely recognise the Zanotti touch.

LSA: Complete this, “Shoes are…”

TCJ: Shoes are your loyal companions that are with you every single day of your life, so I choose the ones with a little bit of character!

To see more of Tengku Chanela Jamidah, follow her on Instagram @tcjamidahSpecial thanks to Impiana KLCC Hotel and Giuseppe Zanotti.

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