Thursday, May 8, 2014


Ola People of The World!
I'm finally back again with another new post. Sorry for being unable to blog as much as I want to because of my super busy schedule packed with work and events in this month of May! Oh I can't believe that I am already saying that we are in May, time just really seems to be going by faster this year!

Anyway as you would have already guessed by reading the blog title, this entry will be about my garment design collection based on Sabah's rich and diverse culture which I have been creating periodically since 2012 ( If memory serves me correctly!

For those of you who are reading this from other parts of the world, Sabah is the name of the state in Malaysia where I live. It is also known as North Borneo. Sabah is a melting pot of many indigenous and immigrant groups with over thirty-one different ethnic races and that is a LOT of inspiration for an artist!

Since I have been getting so much requests / orders this year, I thought perhaps that I should just blog it instead so that it would be easier for the to view my work in one page. So here I am.

So without further ado, presenting the complete 
Sabah Ethno Collection by Jeffie Jeff :

This design titled 'Rani Sogigisom' which means The Queen Forever was my first Sabah Ethno inspired creation which drew influences from the Kadazan Tribe of Penampang and Dusun Lotud Tribe of Tuaran.

Basically my idea was to create a classic black dress with ethnic influences suitable for Red Carpet events and here was the outcome. It comes as no surprise that this is among all, the hottest cake of the crop! And I have the photos to prove them to you.

At Priscilla Verus's Traditional Wedding Ceremony

The outfit has also been worn by Sabahan Celebrity of Akademi Fantasia fame - Queenera!

Featured in a national feature in Malaysian paper - Metro!

This dress has also reached as far as Bali, Indonesia when Malaysia representative for The Miss Scuba International pageant was held there!
The dress also made a re-appearance in the Unduk Ngadau DBKK Gala Night in 2013 worn by the gorgeous Ryannie!
And again this year for the Unduk Ngadau Tuaran 2014! Note that additions were added to the dress.

Moving on to the next creation, I present to you
Lun Exotica :
This next design was inspired by the Lundayeh Tribe of the Sipitang District. For this look I decided to go for a more demure approach by giving my evening gown sleeves and played along with more of the silver elements of the traditional Lundayeh costume as most of Sabah's traditional costumes have gold accents.

Though not as popular as the first Rani Sogigisom creation, this dress however has made several appearance on stage in other years.
2013 Unduk Ngadau Membakut representative in Lun Exotica

Closeup details of Lun Exotica. Photo credits to David Aramaitii

We now move on to the next design,
Unduk Eleganza :
For this third design I wanted to showcase my innovation by using the traditional woven fabric 'Dastar' which is generally used by the Kadazan Dusun and Bajau Community as a Traditional Headgear among the men.

My idea was to also create an evening gown which were separate pieces and could be manipulated into give several looks from casual to evening glamour depending on the styling. So basically the major components of this creation was a corseted bodice, a mini skirt and a black chiffon outer layer.

However several netizens of Facebook quite didn't favour the idea and thought that it was inspired by the Rungus Tribe of Kudat! I was a little taken aback, however I didn't mind the comments much because you can never please anyone in life and also you can't blame the ignorant for not knowing the different type of fabrics!

Anyhow despite all the drama, this dress made it to the Top 7 Best Traditional Inspired Evening Gown Category for the Unduk Ngadau Gala Night in 2013 out of over the 30 districts competing! So I guess that really does say a lot of my work versus the negative haters comments. 

It's not what people say, it's what YOU DO!
Last but not least, I've saved the best for last.
The Spirit of Borneo :
Although this isn't really under the Evening Gown category, it still needs mentioning because it is after all inspired by Sabah's Ethno diversity. Besides this ensemble is the first design to have reached an international stage with a worldwide audience!

Basically I was asked to create an international costume for the representative of Borneo to the Miss Tourism Queen Asia 2013 held in China. I instantly knew that I had to create a female warrior design inspired by the Murut Tribes of the interior Sabah who are notorious for their headhunting culture and which Borneo is also known for through out.

I also injected a little Kadazan Dusun element through the embellishments and also the headgear because it is indeed an authentic yet majestic piece! Who could resist all those feathers? 

I am also equally proud and happy because it has been getting positive reviews all over the country especially via the Missology and Pageant fans feedback. I can't wait to design my next International Costume!

As published on

So there you have it, my current Sabahan Ethno inspired designs in my collection. I am currently working on 6 new dresses this year so wish me luck! Will keep everyone posted soon.

Don't forget to SHARE this and leave me a comment to tell me which one is your favourite?

Till next time,

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