The Malaysian actress and entrepreneur Neelofa married the Islamic preacher Harris Ismail in an elaborate ceremony. The bride wore a stunning, one-of-a-kind wedding dress designed by Alia Bastamam that featured crystals and generous lace.
“Personally, it was sentimental for me because Neelofa has always been very supportive of my work and we have known each other since the day I founded the label Alia Bastamam with my partners,” Alia shares.
Newlyweds Harris Ismail and Neelofa at their wedding.
The designer tells us that Neelofa already had a clear vision of her ideal dress: a fully embellished ensemble with lace layers. Alia says she didn’t insist on anything over the top, but still stand out with subtle details of hand embellishments and ostrich feather accents.
“The inspiration for the silhouette was an ethereal goddess, a train that flows down from the shoulders, and an Arabic-style hooded veil,” Alia revealed.
- Behind the scenes: fittings for the wedding dress.
Behind the scenes: fittings for the wedding dress.
Ever since Neelofa started wearing the niqab, her wedding has had to have a more modest silhouette – nothing figure-hugging or that would show skin. Alia credits Neelofa’s fashion savvy with knowing what looks good about her to complement her current style. Of course, it was also important that the dress matched Alia Bastamam’s aesthetic.
“Of course the design and creation process went smoothly,” she recalls.
Most of the wedding dress was decorated by hand.
It took three weeks to finish the dress.
The dress eventually combined three different designs of French lace that totaled 8 meters in length. Alia shares, “It was important that the top designs stay contemporary. Instead of floral patterns, we used modern patterns that you could say are almost architectural. “
500 pieces of Swarovski crystals were individually placed on the dress, along with tassels, a border with crystals and even ostrich feathers.
Neelofa on her wedding day in her dress designed by Alia Bastamam.
“Making the dress was an exciting and challenging experience for me and my design team. From my first meeting with Neelofa, we had three weeks to get the dress ready for her big day. It usually took at least four to six weeks to complete a dress from this high level of craftsmanship and refinement, but my team put their expertise over days and nights to complete the dress in addition to fittings, changes and tweaks. I am very proud of my design team who did such a good job on the final product. “
Neelofa and Alia Bastamam also collaborated on the ALIA B. X Naelofar collection for the Raya 2021 season. You can buy the collection here.
(All pictures: Alia Bastamam)