Five amazing personalities – Ayu Rosan, Amanda Soekasah, Marsha Timothy, Laura Basuki and Jessie Setiono – talk to us about their favourite Indonesian designers and how proud they are wearing ethnic fabrics in the modern era. Interviews by Handayani Tanuwijaya, Ajeng G. Anindita and Liviani Putri.
Photo credits: Photographed by Robby Agus / Styled by Peter Zewet / Stylist Assistant Devi Lesmana & Valerie E. Lianggara
Marsha Timothy – Moments of Pride
Movie star Marsha Timothy loves wearing Indonesian designers on the international red carpet, especially if it’s one of Biyan’s wondrous creations, writes Ajeng G. Anindita.
The first time I knew Biyan, I was in middle school,” Marsha recalls. “I think my siblings introduced his work to me. They adored him. I remember I bought my prom dress at the Biyan store at Pondok Indah Mall.”
So what does Marsha like so much about Biyan’s work? “I like his intricate detailing. The design might be simple, but if you look closely the details are amazing. The work he puts into it is beyond words. His designs really suit my style. He’s such a great artist, and throughout the years he’s been getting better. Every new collection amazes me. They’re just beautiful!”
Ayu Rosan – Honouring a Legacy
Ayu Rosan is never happier than when she is wearing a kebaya. She tells Liviani Putri about her admiration for the late Iwan Tirta’s legacy.
“When I wear a kebaya, I feel like I’m back in the old times when women wore them every day,” she says. “I feel so elegant and authoritative like a strong woman. I feel more ladylike, more Indonesian.”
An admirer of the legacy of the late Iwan Tirta, the wife of entrepreneur Rosan Roeslani and mother of three declares: “I love Indonesian ethnic fabrics and I deeply appreciate the work that goes into transforming them into beautiful kebaya. It’s all so fascinating because each city and each region has its own style, its own speciality – and each one is very unique.”
Amanda Soekasah – Mom’s mannequin
Amanda Soekasah tells Ajeng G. Anindita how much she and her sister Janna prize served as their mother Ghea Panggabean’s muses.
Ghea Panggabean has consistently championed traditional motifs and fabrics throughout her career. Says Amanda: “She was born in Rotterdam and during her childhood, she moved around between Holland and Germany. When she came back to Indonesia, she saw all these amazing colours. From there, she created clothes with traditional motifs, but with much lighter fabrics. There’s a story behind everything she creates. She needs to know every aspect of her collections, from the fabric to the jewellery.”
Laura Basuki – Unforgettable Memories
“Every time he dresses me up, the result is fantastic,” says actress Laura Basuki of the creativity of Eddy Betty, master of haute couture. Liviani Putri reports
Laura says her first impression of Betty’s creativity were unforgettable “When I first saw his designs, I thought they were luxurious. I also thought they were sexy, yet innocent. For me, when Eddy puts on a fashion show, it’s a must-see because he makes so many innovations and has so many surprises in his collections – the concept and even the stage design.
“As we know, Sumba is now a popular destination. For me, the heritage of its creations is very pure and honest. I would say we are lucky to have a have a high taste of art. Indonesians can be proud of their batik, tenun, songket and many more. They make it wholeheartedly, so that we can feel the passion of the designers and the craftsmen when we wear it. When I attend a film premiere or an awards night. I want to wear an Indonesian designer dress. I want to wear it because it’s different, unique.”
Jessie Setiono – Back to Her Roots
Lawyer Jessie Setiono says Didiet Maulana’s delicate masterpieces remind her why she is proud to be an Indonesian. Handayani Tanuwijaya reports.
“The kebaya is one of the most important fashion identities for Indonesian women today. I like to show that it can be combined not only with batik, but with many other traditional woven fabrics. My mission with Ikat Indonesia has been the same since the beginning. I want to transform our cultural heritage into something relevant for the young generations,” says Jessie.
Jessie met Maulana for the first time when she was in her early twenties. “We did a photo shoot for a project about eight years ago and, from that moment onwards, we’ve had a connection with each other,” she says. Furthermore, she also noted on how she feels when she wears his collection, “Whatever material he uses, he is able to construct an outfit that makes a woman feel feminine, yet powerful. The first impression I had of him was that he’s intelligent, and his curiosity about history was apparent. He wants to know the story about the material, who made it, how it was made, where it was made, who used it at the time and how it empowered the culture at the time.”
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