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IACT juniors get first hand in fashion PR

 Student team leader Sarah Joy (right) and peers assisting local fashion designer Hanifi Triff (not pictured) of Ratis Studio with the fashion bazaar during KL Alta Moda.

IACT College has always taken pride in its unique aim of giving students real-world industry experience by practicing “project-based learning” to foster out-of-classroom learning. 

On the 2nd of December, junior students of Publicity and Media Relations from the mass communications cohort were given the opportunity to shadow and assist their seniors from the final semester on the KL Alta Moda 2017 high fashion royal gala held at the Royale Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. The senior students were tasked as Dodi Mohammad, organiser and fashion producer’s core PR executive team. 

The gala, which centred its theme around three causes - Heritage, High Fashion, and Humanitarian, was coined to highlight the silver jewellery masterpieces by unsung Kelantan silver artisans, showcase creations of both local and international fashion labels, and raise funds for the non-governmental organisation partner, Mercy Malaysia to aid their various initiatives; among which was to provide timely flood relief to disaster-struck states Kelantan, Terengganu, and Penang. 

Partnering KL Alta Moda 2017 was Good News Fashion (GNF), an international fashion company based in Stabio, Switzerland, which featured high fashion labels Vivienne Westwood, Maison Martin Margiela, Just Cavalli, Dsquared2, and Italian high street labels Bad Spirit and PG Enjoy. Other featured fashion labels and designers included Gidja Monroe, an Australian label by Tuesday and Kimberley Satterley, Gina Frias, and Illiza Ho, protégé of Dato’ Jimmy Choo. 

“KL Alta Moda gave me a different insight and appeal to fashion shows as I was not only able to witness industry professionals at work, but also work alongside them and observe how they produce an outstanding fashion show under high pressure,” said Haressh Sidharthan, Publicity and Media Relations student. 

The gala was graced by the likes of Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Zara Salim of Perak, HRH Prince Norodom Naravong of Cambodia, and Dato’ Choo himself. The presence of royalty and public figures as guests of honour also provided students an opportunity to learn about royal protocols and formal mannerisms. 

“The opportunity to participate in a high-profile event like KL Alta Moda was undoubtedly a money-can’t-buy experience for students involved,” described Jonathan Yip, lecturer in Publicity and Media Relations. “The collaboration gave them (students) a taste of the real-world industry, specifically in fashion PR and event management, which will hopefully assist them in choosing career paths upon graduating,” added Yip. 

Leading up to the main event weekend, students also undertook the roles of media liaisons, PR writers, social media managers, and campaign strategists; The responsibilities asserted to both the junior and senior students involved the application beyond their skill set and theoretical knowledge garnered throughout the diploma course; but also tested their competency to adapt swiftly and adhere to the fast pace of the PR industry. 

Sarah Joy, student team leader of the Publicity and Media Relations class said, “It was an eye opener for me as a junior in mass communications to organise, watch, and experience this gala alongside my seniors. I have learnt tremendously from this experience on the aspects of organising a fashion event.” 

Organiser Dodi highlighted that distinguished guests were convinced the students were professional executives with experience in fashion event management, which stood as a powerful testament. 

Among other prominent feedback received by Yip post-event was put forward by assistant team leader Hannah Goh, who felt thankful to be a part of this industry project and further described the opportunity as an eye-opening experience to fashion PR, which also helped prepare her for her upcoming internship semester. 

Edit: This article was also edited and published on IACT College's website and The Star Newspapers (Malaysia) on January 18th, 2018.
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