“ARE we really doing this now?” was the first thing I asked my sister the moment we set foot in L-town. It was good to be back, finally breathing in the London air. I had missed it.

To be honest, apart from all the excitement and joy, deep down I was a nervous wreck! I had been dreaming of coming to London to participate in the much-anticipated fashion week but I felt like I wasn’t ready to showcase what I had brought from KL.

I wanted to laugh at myself for saying how excited and ready I was to showcase my collection at London Modest Fashion Week (LMFW) in my previous article because, truthfully, the jitters I felt were out of this world!

The journey to LMFW was not a walk in the park. Oh well, no journey to any fashion week is a walk in the park. But it doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, the experience and the lessons we learn are even more precious than all those bumpy roads we have to go through.

Models backstage at LMFW.

Pre-LMFW was insane. I nearly drove myself crazy because I had voices inside my head that kept saying “What if this collection is a flop?”, “What if Londoners don’t fancy these colours and silhouettes?” What if this, what if that, too many what ifs.

I felt extra pressure because I knew from the beginning that this would be a different market, people are more fashion savvy and some may have a strong fashion background. The last thing I wanted to do was to embarrass myself and my brand.

Yes, I doubt myself too much and I’m known to be very indecisive when it comes to my designs and collections. It is not because I don’t have faith in what I create; it’s because I place high expectations on myself, the target market and supporters of our brand.

For the collection we showcased at LMFW, I did numerous changes to each design. I wanted things to be perfect and flawless. Annoying, really. But let’s face it, no design is ever too perfect and sometimes the imperfection is what makes it perfect.

But I let go of my paranoia and insecurities near the day of the show and it was one of the best things I had ever done for myself at a pre-fashion show debut.

It’s scary what self-doubt can do to an individual. It can either make or break you. Some people use self-doubt to boost confidence while others use it as an excuse to quit their passion.

Getting a model ready for the show at LMFW.

Some of us fall in the latter category, hence it is good to take time to reflect on the things that made us chase our dreams in the first place. It may take some time but, trust me, it will be worth it. Things can get a little too overwhelming at times and we need a break from this high-demanding life and society but that doesn’t mean we have to quit what we’re good at.

I’ve said it from time to time, over and over again; I could never have done this without the support of my sisters, family, team and our strong brand supporters.

There are days when I want to quit everything and settle for what I have but I never want to disappoint these people. I guess it will all work out when you have at least one reason to keep moving forward. So, find that one reason to stay focused and achieve your goals. Fret not, you’ll find it if you look harder and closer.

Anyway, LMFW would not have been possible without my team’s strong determination. Mimpikita showcased the Fall Winter collection inspired by my early childhood in London, especially old photos of my mum and the way she dressed there. I paid tribute to my mother’s style from the late 90s through this collection and this was the first time we went full modest silhouettes.

All in all, the show at LMFW was a great experience. We had the opportunity to meet people from different and interesting backgrounds. I had a star-struck moment at the show because I could not believe that I was in the same space as people I used to see in magazines!

Meeting the chief critic of British Vogue, Sarah Mower, was the highlight of my trip! She was kind enough to view our work and I did whatever I possibly could to introduce Mimpikita to her. That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Now that major fashion weeks are over, we get to rest a little before the crazy Raya season begins. We have finalised the bespoke collection which will be ready for custom orders this week and we are in the midst of finalising our ready-to-wear collection.

The highlight of Mimpikita’s trip to LMFW is meeting British Vogue fashion critic Sarah Mower.

The collection this year is in line with our 10th anniversary, which includes a wide selection of old designs and prints that have been given a breath of fresh air.

The designs are mostly inspired by our memories, milestones, failures and achievements over the years.

We have so much to look forward to this year and I don’t know how I’m going to manage (self-doubt alert!) but I’m confident that if I put my mind to it, it will happen!

“Nurul needs a little push is all” — and that should probably be my 2018 reminder.

I’m not going to fill you in on what we have planned for the rest of the year but if you have been paying attention, you may have noticed the few hints I dropped previously on what Mimpikita has in store. I can’t wait to reveal the surprise!

My mum and I in London, circa 1983. The way she dressed then inspired me.

Nurul Zulkifli, the creative director of Malaysian fashion house Mimpikita, shares her escapades in life, fashion and everything in-between. Follow her and Mimpikita on instagram at @nurulzulkifli and @mimpi_kita.

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