My love affair with fashion …

My Emak – the influencer

When did my love affair with fashion begin? My late mother, Cikgu Aishah Sulaiman, played the role of an influencer in this agenda. She was my fashion guru.


My late emak, Cikgu Siti Aishah (far left) and her buddies in Bentong.


My niece, Husna Afiqah Hasni with her grandmother, my emak, in front of my parents’ house in Bentong in 1995.

A  very fashionable lady during her times, my mother had awakened the passion in me to indulge in fashion . Maybe being a career woman herself gave her the opportunity to dress-up those days. She was a teacher and received her education at Durian Daun Teachers Training College, Malacca. She passed away on 8 January, 2006.

When I was in my primary school days, my siblings and I would accompany our Emak to a hair salon in Bentong. No kidding, it was like thrice in a week trip. Ah Be, the owner herself would tend to her. Yours truly would be seated in a corner, going through magazines of Hongkong movie stars. Actually, that was the time I could remember faces and names of them — Betty Ting Pei, Cheng Pei Pei, Jenny Hu, Li Cheng and Lily Ho.

Emak would drive me and my siblings to school every day and then only she would go to her school. Being an observant person, I would peep at her stylish self from the corner of my eyes — her make-up, shoes, handbags, and her clothes. I was always in awed and admired her sense of colours and fashions. When she stepped out of the car, may eyes would follow her.

I deduced then that my Emak had her confidence boosted up on how she carried herself with her dressing. I believed then that my late Abah was “secretly” glad with her dressing attitude. Now that I said it, I realised that my Abah had never brought up her “spendthrift” hair salon trips and the many dresses that she had. Hear, hear, men out there!

Recognition to fashion and design

I have always wanted to be a fashion designer. Those days the art and design majors were not given the due recognition by our society. I am truly glad that now the major has made an impact on the higher education plus many of our students works are recognised and displayed at international arena. The KL Fashion Week is the support and recognition given to our fashion designers for them to use it as their platform to display their works.

Even though I was a “dry major” student, but this did not deter me to be involved in my passion. During my working days in the civil service of Malaysia, I made sure that I was up-to-date with fashions by reading magazines and surfing the internet on the subject matter. Every time I went overseas, I always made it a point to wear the Malaysian batik and that was part of my strategy to promote and introduce batik to the foreigners.


These are batik designs from iKartini 

Put simply, for me fashion is not about the price-tags. Not necessarily that the more expensive it is, the better it looks on you. It is about “carrying oneself”, the confidence that exudes from your fashion style. It is very okay to recycle your clothes to events or any gatherings. The magic act to it is to add different accessories each time you are undergoing the recycling process. Personally, I go for street fashions which are more relaxed and free.

When I was attached to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in 2016,  I created and promoted the hashtag #noorulcolorwaves with its specific colour theme, for example, blue, yellow and green, on each week. Boy, I was glad  indeed that many women, including men, responded to the hashtag. It was fun indeed. Thank you for your sporting esprit-de-corps guys!

So, women out there, be adventurous with your personality establishment. Be brave to venture into uncharted waters where fashion is concerned. Finally, less is more…


My #noorulcolorwaves hashtag followers as shown below.





  1. I also have passion on something that I did not pursue in formal education. I love gardening, landscaping and anything about plants, but I studied PhD in chemistry! Now
    I am doing the same thing as you did during your service, embedded the passion into my career. Currently I am doing research on fertilizer, bugs repellents and potting media.
    We cannot just ignore our passion, it always inside us! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment MV. Yes, all along my career in the civil service, I embedded and nurtured my passion. I am glad indeed that I just did that. Otherwise, I would regret it later.


  2. Beautifully expressed Tan Sri ❤ Coincidentally my Mak was a teacher too and went to Durian Daun too. She was one of 2 selected from Penang to study there. Yes my Mak loved to dress up and my sister and I found it so inspiring. Nowadays the way to go is to create your own style regardless of fashion trends be you and you Tan Sri have done it well. Thank you for your constant support for iKARRTiNi we are truly blessed to receive your recognition. May we be blessed as we continue on now next phase in the world. Ameen

    Liked by 1 person

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