In donesia Fashion Week has just passed, yet the memories of several unique presentations and especially beautiful collections linger on, making a notable impression in the fashion world.
One such example is the double fashion show by young Indonesian designers Auguste Soesastro and Jeanny Ang. Both designers wowed the stylish crowd with their individual characteristics and contrasting styles in a fashion show themed “Fashion to Attraction.”
Auguste spent most of his childhood in the United States and the Netherlands. The graduate of the prestigious Paris fashion school Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne began his career in New York City in June 2008.
Despite his international background, Auguste remained true to his Javanese roots. His made-to-measure first line was named “Kraton,” meaning “palace” in Javanese, and featured a plethora of handmade Indonesian textiles.
In “Fashion to Attraction,” Auguste presented the 2013 Fall/Winter collection for his second line, “Kraton Ready-to-Wear.”
“It’s been two years since the last time I created a winter collection,” the 31-year-old designer said. “And I’ve found out that it’s actually in my fashion vocabulary, something that I like to do. So this is what I want to focus on from today.”
His collection, in which Auguste presented 25 new looks that embodied passion, attraction and innocence, was stunning in its muted elegance.
In the first session of the show, Auguste presented dark suits made of wool, cashmere and heavy flannel. Each item was perfectly tailored to present the strong silhouette of today’s sophisticated woman.
Auguste shifted to more colorful items toward the end of the show. The simple yet clever color coordination made his outfits a feast for the eyes.
His pairing of tailored black pants and a gray turtleneck blouse with a fuchsia jacket was exceptional as it added to a monochromatic look.
“It [the jacket] looks simple,” he said. “But it took a skilled worker 60 hours to assemble this very simple looking garment.”
Auguste also featured exquisite handwoven tie-dye fabric from Ayotupas, West Timor, in the collection.
“It’s an organic fabric,” the designer said. “And it’s one of Indonesia’s upstream-downstream industries that we should really support.”
According to the designer, the people of Ayotupas worked on the fabric themselves, from the breeding and harvesting of silkworms to the thread-spinning, dyeing and weaving of the fabric.
The end result is gorgeous. Made with natural dyes, the Ayotupas material has deep earthy tones with crisp geometric designs.
Auguste presented the fabrics in all their splendor as shawls, draped over one shoulder, and as fitted tops.
Environmentally friendly productions have always been important to the designer.
“In the last six months, two of my cities have been immersed with water,” he said, referring to Hurricane Sandy in New York and the recent floods in Jakarta. “We can no longer deny the impact of modern civilization on the environment. This is a major concern at Kraton.”
Auguste’s fashion show closed with top Indonesian model Laura Muljadi. She looked graceful in a long gray skirt and silk-crepe top with black-and-white wavy designs, completed with a long shawl.
“It’s a traditional batik pattern known as tirto tejo , which means sparkling waters in Javanese,” Auguste said.
The second portion of the fashion show featured Jeanny Ang’s 2013 Spring/Summer collection, in which the designer unveiled 35 looks.
Jeanny is a graduate of Lembaga Pendidikan Susan Budihardjo, a fashion school in Jakarta, and the Hong Kong Design Institute.
She started her career in Jakarta in 1991, producing ready-to-wear outfits and uniforms. Her passion and creativity then veered off into party dresses and wedding gowns in 1997, before establishing her private label Jeanny Ang Couture in 2002.
Today, Jeanny has three labels: Jeanny Ang Couture for her party dresses, Wedding Concept for her wedding gowns and Beauty Treasure for elegant evening wear.
For her show, Jeanny found inspiration in her Peranakan (Chinese-Indonesian) cultural roots.
“ Peranakan culture has been fading in this country,” she explained.
Due to years of political repression, many Chinese Indonesians have renounced their Peranakan roots and culture.
“It’s a shame,” she said. “ Peranakan culture is also part of this country. We shouldn’t just forget about it.”
Her 2013 Spring/Summer collection is based on the beautiful colors of Peranakan chinaware.
“ Peranakan chinaware is so distinctive in style and colors,” she said. “It’s sweet and reminiscent of a bygone era.”
Jeanny presented light and dainty gowns made of chiffon, lace and silk organza. The light pastel colors of these materials represented the unique colors of Peranakan chinaware. The colors were highlighted with beads, ruffles and colorful ribbons.
Actress and presenter Nirina Zubir modeled a pretty tube dress made of lace. At the bottom, the skirt was layered and trimmed with golden ribbons.
“IFW [Indonesia Fashion Week] is such a great platform to highlight Indonesian fashion talents,” Jeanny said. “I hope it’ll be even better and bigger next year.”