IRL – In Real Life Exhibition by Valery Koh and Xia Yi

Featuring the Runway Looks of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2018 Designers

You were probably drooling over Archie Andrews on Netflix, binge-reading Rupi Kaur’s delectable poems, or contemplating on that Fenty Beauty Kit over le week-end. Up here at The Zhongshan Building, an exhibition held by Valery Koh and Xia Yi has summoned troops of fashion enthusiasts, arts lovers, photographers, musicians and more to witness their 12 finely-curated collage artworks for an In Real Life experience. Hence the name of the exhibition — .IRL.


Have you ever made a collage artwork of your own? Moi - I tried, I did, I failed. lol
These two visionary young ladies, Valery Koh and Xia Yi, hopped on a midnight train, put their heads together and poof, their first ever collage finest came to life. JK! They did not really hop on any trains in the city, but they sure spent hours on planning for the successful exhibition, a workshop called RGB.IRL and a panel discussion called MEMBAWANG.IRL. The artsy soirée proudly showcased the design works of 5 Malaysian label and designers namely Cassey Gan, Ezzati Amira, Justin Chew, Jonathan Liang and Tarik Jeans.

L: JTNC by Justin Chew
Fall Winter 2018

Cassey Gan
Fall Winter 2018

Tarik Jeans  Fall Winter 2018

Tarik Jeans
Fall Winter 2018

Ezzati Amira  Fall Winter 2018

Ezzati Amira
Fall Winter 2018

Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2018 displayed a breathtaking end products whilst we bring you the exclusive backstage experience especially for you to touch and feel the whole process - raw and uncensored,” says Xia Yi, a writer and photographer when asked about the different perspective that this .IRL exhibition offered its audience. Xia Yi has worked with brands like Yoke & Theam, Kozo, and actively writes about fashion and her thoughts.

As excited as you all are about this year’s Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Valery Koh, a graphic designer and artist claimed, “We have seen brands showcasing nice dresses for women of all sizes ranging from small to extra-large. The long-awaited event will possibly flaunt the runway with fun patterns this time around with innovative effects.” The runway has displayed ready-to-wear outfits and dresses for special occasions and will continue serving the thirsty eyeballs of fashion lovers and artists alike with more innovative selections this year.


Merging fashion and arts is a brilliant idea. Even more so when you put them together on a gigantic palette like how Xia Yi and Valery Koh did to unravel the stories behind KLFW 2018. Collage arts has been around since 1910 yet it is not popularized in the local scene. It sure is a fun thing to do but binding collage with KLFW’s behind-the-scene is not for everyone. “Often times, fashion lovers are amazed by what they see on the runway - the end products. Through this collage artworks, we are allowing fashion bees to experience the designers’ ideation, fabric sourcing, and production process,” says Xia Yi, confident about the whole concept of the exhibition could feed the aesthetic eyes of many from different perspectives. 

IMO, .IRL inspires us to be creative with the resources that we have. The way our collage artists put things together teaches us that anything is possible when you let your mind open to possibilities. At a glance, you might think that their collage artworks are a bunch of random materials thrown together. This could be true. The only way to find out is to follow Xia Yi at @_xiayi and Valery Koh at @powpowval on Instagram! 
Don’t want to miss out news on the next KLFW? Head over to @klfashionweek and click follow.

Write Up & Photo Credits: Fumee Lee

Write Up & Photo Credits: Fumee Lee