Paris Couture Week kicked off last week for the Fall / Winter 2021 season. And one of the most exciting moments was the return of Balenciaga, the first since the fashion house left haute couture in 1967.
Malaysian model Gwen Lu was right in the thick of it. She walked the runway in a gorgeous black dress, as fashion week reopened to physical catwalks.
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“It was such an honor to be a part of the debut of @demnagvasalia couture [and] grateful for such a memorable experience! ”commented Penang-born Lu, posting a photo and video on Instagram.
The Malaysian beauty has graced many fashion magazines and has already appeared in international catwalks. This remains very important, however, because Balenciaga’s return to couture is a monumental occasion.
The current artistic director Demna Gvasalia paid tribute to the late founder, Cristobel Balenciaga. His 63 designs included bespoke black pieces, accessorized with bands of stoles and floral embroidery.
A Penangite in the soul
While Lu has lived and worked in fashion capitals like New York, Paris and London, she has never forgotten her country or her homeland.
Lu, 37, grew up on the mainland Bukit Mertajam, but her family moved to Ayer Itam on Penang Island when she was just seven years old.
“Like all Malaysian children before the Internet existed, I grew up playing gumballs, mulut itik, batu seremban, congkak, masak-masak and board games, ”she said. Buro247 in a 2016 interview.
She also spoke about her family and how growing up in Penang will be remembered forever.
“My best memory would be our weekly visit to my grandparents in Padang Tembak. They used to run a small store that sells music tapes, videotape rentals, and goldfish.
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Standing 175cm tall, Lu has previously walked for notable labels like Kenzo and MGSM. She has also appeared in various catalogs and advertisements for major beauty brands.
Before Lu moved to New York in November 2007, she had been modeling in Malaysia, Singapore and even a two-month stay in Athens. She had her big luck when she was approached by one of the most prominent modeling agencies in the world.
“When I debuted at Singapore Fashion Fest in March 2006, I was spotted by Roman Young [the then-director of Elite Model Management] who was in Singapore looking for new faces, ”she said, in a 2009 interview with The star.
“He approached me after seeing me on the big screen in the streets, which featured scenes from the fashion festival parades.”