Designers and Traditional Textiles

Posted on January 24th, 2011 at 7:50 am by Farah Fitriani


The year 2010 was a bright year in local fashion industry, with the debut of some young designers while old players presented their explorations of traditional textiles, mainly tenun woven fabrics.


In early February, Adrian Gan presented his latest collection called Lingdreights, a combination of flowing lingerie and 1980s fashions.  For the collection, he played with different fabrics, from velvet, lace, silk to tulle, most of which were popular during the 1980s, a time when lingerie began to emerge as outerwear and a touch of drapery entered fashion.

Lenny Agustin released her latest batik-inspired collection under her very own label, Lennor, in a show called “Dazzling Moments”, bravely colliding one color with another and combining motifs and patterns into one for menswear and ladies’ wear.

She uses several kinds of batik, combining them with lurik (Javanese hand-woven fabrics) and sarong as well as fabrics and patterns from regions across Indonesia, including Sidoarjo in East Java, Pekalongan in Central Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi.

Meanwhile, Kanaya Tabitha launched her latest line, Fabulous, redefining office wear with sexy yet glamorous touches to add color to women’s working lives.
Kanaya offers mini dresses, jackets, Capri pants and jumpsuits, using fabrics like wool, satin and lace.

The ready-to-wear collection is dedicated to high-end professional working women in big cities aged 24 and up.


The local fashion industry welcomes young yet talented designer Dian Adriani Jusuf, who toys with a lot of folds and pleats in her deluxe ready-to-wear collection, presented early April. The show displayed outfits in white, gray, maroon and green shades made from silk, satin and chiffon with a combination of jacquard. The label Adriani is Dian’s second label after she launched her ready-to-wear line, Lilou, in 2007.


In June, fashion lovers were pleased with the opening of Level One, a place designated for Jakarta’s young entrepreneurs.

Level One occupies a 2,700-square-meter area on the first floor of Grand Indonesia shopping center, housing 22 stores selling a total of 28 brands, ranging from clothing lines, accessories and bags to furniture, photography and a charity shop.


July was a busy month for senior designer Biyan Wanaatmadja as he held two shows in a row under his high fashion self-titled label Biyan and ready-to-wear brand (X) S.M.L. He displayed his latest first-line collection in a grand show called “As Time Goes By”, marking his 27th year in fashion. The inspiration came from elegant costumes once worn by kings and queens in days of yore, which was translated into 100 outfits.

A few days later, Biyan introduced the latest collection of (X) S.M.L. titled Caravan, offering a string of fabulous military themed ready-to-wear outfits.

The month of July, however, closed with sad news with the passing of  batik designer Iwan Tirta on July 31 at the age of 75. He had been hospitalized for 10 days due to complications affecting his major organs and was buried at Karet Bivak Cemetery.

Born in Central Java’s Blora on April 18, 1935, Iwan had long pursued his love of traditional Javanese batik in the 1970s and 1980s and was highly committed to promoting batik long before batik regained its popularity over the last few years. He also authored several books on batik and dressed visiting dignitaries, including US president Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy in the mid-1980s, and world leaders during the 1994 APEC conference.

August was a month for Muslim wear as the Indonesia Islamic Fashion Fair 2010 was held in a bid to welcome the holy month of Ramadan and Idul Fitri. Shafira, a local Muslim clothing line, rolled out women’s, men’s and children’s wear with the theme of  Spring in the Desert, which was inspired by the beauty of Morocco and some touches from traditional Indonesian textiles.


In October, fashionistas got a nice surprise when Eddy Betty, best known for his haute couture designs, launched a prêt-a-porter collection, Edbe (pronounced e-d-be).

Eddy said his collection was influenced by Eastern culture, featuring some Japanese touches without ignoring Indonesian style. The Edbe collection, which is edgy and funky, is basically dedicated to those who adore freestyle or who want to take a break from tight and sexy dresses.

Sebastian Gunawan once again showed his Midas touch in a series of  Femme Fatale outfits by taking inspiration from women’s fashion in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

He once said he was motivated by women who had strong personalities in terms of fashion and style, such as Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo.

Veteran designer Susan Budihardjo, one of fashion gurus in Indonesia well-known for her Susan Budihardjo Fashion School, celebrated the school’s 30th anniversary by staging a show titled Iconic Silhouette, which showcased the works of more than 100 alumni such as Adrian Gan, Ahmad Sofiyulloh or Sofie, Didi Budiardjo, Eddy Betty and Sebastian Gunawan.

At the end of October, the Indonesian Fashion Designers Council (IPMI) revealed the 2011 trend through the collections of its eight designers, including Era Soekamto, Carmanita, Priyo Oktaviano and Barli Asmara in a show titled “Metamorphic”.


November was a busy time for local designers, ateliers and labels in town as they showcased their latest pieces in a number of shows and events.

The month opened with the annual Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) 2010/2011, which displayed alluring works from senior designers and newcomers.

While batik became the center of attention in last year’s Jakarta Fashion Week, tenun (traditional woven cloth) had its turn at this year’s event.

Oscar Lawalata, for instance, showed off his skills through the Weaving the Future collection — a collaborative work with British designer Laura Miles, focusing on various hand-woven silk creations as well as traditional fabrics from eastern Indonesia.

Other designers also turned traditional textiles from South Sumatra, such as songket Palembang and tenun blongsong, into modern yet stylish outfits in a show segment called “Cita Tenun Indonesia: Cita Swarna Bumi Sriwijaya”, held by Yayasan Cita Tenun Indonesia, a foundation committed to preserving and promoting traditional Indonesian textiles.

Renowned designer Ghea S. Panggabean also used JFW as an opportunity to celebrate her 30 years in fashion, showcasing the Bohemian style, which was popular in the 1970s, followed with the Gypset Traveler collection, which explored the strikingly attractive tenun ikat woven cloth from the country’s eastern regions as well as a bunch of rainbow-colored South Sumatra’s songket Palembang.

Kebaya designer Anne Avantie marked her 20 years in fashion by staging a big show, featuring 100 outfits of her signature collection, including classic kebaya, ethnic ball gowns, cheongsam kebaya, asymmetric kebaya and ethnic bridal gowns.

In mid-November, celebrity darling Arantxa Adi indulged fashionistas and his loyal clientele, mostly celebrities, with his latest collection, marking his 12 years in fashion. Pretty one- and two-piece dresses with asymmetric cuts made from taffeta silk and cotton silk were seen all over the runway.

Seventeen designers of the Indonesian Fashion Designers’ Association  (APPMI), including Dina Midiani, Oka Diputra, Ali Charisma and Harry Ibrahim, were chosen to show their best creations in the commemoration of the organization 17th anniversary.

News Source : The Jakarta Post

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