#POTRETRAYA2019 | Wonder Woman: Meet Emma Shazleen and her family
My name is Emma Shazleen and I was raised in Kuala Lumpur. I have always been a city girl and have lived here my entire life.
Where did your family came from? And how was it like growing up in your household?
My father grew up in the state of Kedah. My mother was originally born in Singapore but she moved to Malaysia after they both got married. There are five of us siblings in total, including me who is the youngest in the family. It can get quite chaotic because I have 4 older sisters. Girls being girls, we can be quite mischievous towards each other. But I would not have it, any other way. We are each other’s support system like best friends.
What strikes your emotional chord every time you think about your family?
The question you asked made me think about how I became more open and became less of a private person now after having children. Before this, I had the tendency to feel quite disconnected and would instantly head into my room after dinner with the family. It has turned out to be so different after having children because it forces me to instill more family values. I am grateful that my three children has made me that way,
What were some of your earliest memories when you first found out about fashion?
I first developed an interest in fashion after giving birth to my first child. I was more plump before and never had the confidence like I do, today. During high school, I gained a little more weight but it was after marriage when I had my first child that I started losing a lot of weight. Most of it was due to the breast-feeding routine I went through. Funny enough, that had had given me the confidence and the courage to be dressed in anything now.
It helps that my mother is already a stylish individual herself. Our mother would constantly remind us that we will have to learn how to dress and present ourselves better to the outside world. From learning how to correctly put on makeup to learning how to walk in heels, just because.
Describe to us how your annual Raya celebration looks like.
Usually, my distant relatives will already be in Kuala Lumpur before the first day of the festivities. We do not need to head back to our ‘kampung’ anymore as most of us are now based in the city. I am sure, most of us do the same with the family - breakfast in the morning before the ‘Salam Raya‘ By lunch time, we will head to our relatives houses around the city and you can say that throughout the entire month, we will be quite occupied with open houses not just by families but with friends and people who I used to work with as well.
What is your thought-process when it comes to finding the right outfits for you and your three children during Raya Aidilfitri?
Every Raya, my family and I will get together to decide on a theme for our outfits based on colours. Once the theme is decided, we will begin to hunt for our outfits whether it is through e-com sites, social media or in-store.
If there happens to be nothing that catches our eye, we would normally custom make our outfits. We show them what we want by referencing high fashion looks, sometimes it’s a hit or miss. I try to choose an outfit that will make me stand out, it has to be perfectly cut considering I am petite in size. The thing about local designer labels or brands is that they mostly cater for someone with an average or taller height. Whereas for the children, i keep it simple by choosing a comfortable outfit that they can run in and making sure their colour matches the rest of the family.
Do you have a particular song, movie or film that brings back those Raya memories?
Before I got married, my family and I would head back to our kampung together. One of our favourite Raya pastime is to watch P. Ramlee movies. It’s an all-time classic for us. Recently, everyone has moved into the city so there is no kampung anymore. Celebrating Raya back in the kampung compared to being in the city is so different. I miss it so much.
Emma wears the Ruby in Burgundy.
Emma's kebaya top is from Tangsi.
Her sons are wearing Petit Moi.
More on their Instagram here.