Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Erotica Architectura

Erotica Architectura
Inspired by the book by T.C. Boyle titled the Women, about Frank Lloyd Wright's works as and architectural wonder and his love affair with 3 different women. This collection is marrying the two concept: femininity and architecture, juxtaposing the very body conscious silhouette with architectural shapes as well as the commonly menswear fabric.

Models: (top-down) Ayu Fa, Winny, Putri, Bulan, Patricia, Merry, Laura M, and Paula
Coreography: Mr. Wawan and team
Music: Until We Bleed - Kleerup feat. Lyke Li
Shoes Production: Wed's by Weda Agustino
Photos and Documentation: Lasalle Team (Raymond and team)
Promotion: Lasalle Marketing Team (Douwes and Ayu)
Special thanks to entire Jakarta Fashion Week team and Femina Group for the endless support, and all the countless friends, families, clients, and retailers who have supported me from early on.

Jakarta Fashion Week 2010 - Erotica Architectura

So in November 10, 2010, I was presented with another chance to present my latest collection at the Jakarta Fashion Week 2010. Just like last year, the venue is still at the Pacific Place Mall, but this year the invitation was to show inside the tent.

It was such an incredible honor to be able to show my collection inside the tent. Not even 2 years ago I was sneaking inside the tent, trying my hardest to use my internship ID, or trying to stick with the magazine people that I happen to know, and pretty much just like a kid in a candy store. And it felt like yesterday that Krista Rompas and I presented SeaM collection at the Jakarta Fashion Week, outside at the promenade though. It seems like the tent is such a 'high up there' place for a young designer like myself.

Which is why I got too excited to show my collection. I know that only big designers of the calibre of my ex boss, Mr. Barli Asmara and his peers like Priyo Oktaviano, Deden Siswanto, Billy Tjong, Adesagi, and Sebastian Gunawan were the regulars for the fashion tent, and newly established designer like myself could only dream for such opportunity.

Of course, I wouldn't take this opportunity for granted, this could be the big break I've been waiting for!! So I got to thinking about what I'm going to show these fashionable crowd, and I came up with the decision that it's going to be something that's totally me, which of course is something constructed, relatively colorless, and of course projected my ideal customers, women who are strong, tough, modern, bold, and unafraid of having power.

My research began with a book by T.C. Boyle titled The Women, story about Frank Llyod Wright, a very famous architect, and his love affairs with the women in his life. Then and there I decided that this collection is also going to be sensual and body conscious, not thinking about putting the architecture on the women, but to treat the woman's body like a piece of architecture. A reverse thinking like that is so simple, but to apply it is not easy.

Especially, when you're left with nobody but one single seamstress slash assistant to do this 8-looks collection. My tailor was then extremely busy, and I couldn't wait any longer, I really need to start production, so there it was, the two of us trying to do the most important collection of my life.

So for this collection I though I'd go all out despite the short amount of workforces. Incorporating more handwork than ever before, and I somewhat wanted the handwork to be obvious in a way, but still understated. Going through all the materials are actually one of the easy part. Once the sketching is done, I know exactly what I want and where to get it. I know that the construction is going to be the hardest part of making this collection, and I wasn't wrong. Besides the incredible beading, the usage of knit fabrics are also the first for me. Two kinds of knits were used, hand-cable-knit and super light jersey, but unlike usual, the jersey is constructed and not draped. Each construction line has a function, and to accentuate it, I did every piece in different shade, which is also sort of a trade mark of mine.

The collection is heavy on the menswear fabric. I want to show the strength in using these heavy-weight fabric to create the super body conscious garments, so it's feminine but strong at the same time. The shape is also very special, as I mentioned architecture being the main inspiration, so although I can't really pinpoint which buildings had been the inspiration, I wanted the marriage between fashion and architecture to be obvious. And the embelishment are quite special too! Acrylic crystal in metal, metal shape stud, and tiny metal pipes are used, but also a touch of rebel and punk by the use of safety pins on a simple skirt, a leather pants, and a constructive dress.

Sounds complicated?? You bet!

The show itself was quite dramatic. The rehearsal that was supposed to start at 11 a.m. didn't start until 12.30, which coincidentally was also our schedule for the press conference. We were of course had to come to the press conference, and luckily I caught a glimpse of the rehearsal. And then some backstage drama happened. If you have ever been on the backstage of a rushing fashion show, you'll know that zipper can be a problem. Well it happened to be me in Beijing, it happened again in Jakarta. The leather pants' zipper was busted. It was probably because it was fitted to be very tight on the model, but well surely it caused a minute of panicking for me, but then we had time to actually sew the pants on to the model, so that's what we did.

Sounds dramatic?? You bet!

But what is a fashion show without a little drama? At the end of the day, it was a fabulous show. We were an hour late, but there were still hundreds of people queuing up to get in, and some celebrities invited to the show had to stand because they're not allowed to interrupt the show. But the amazing thing is that they stood still, and watched the show standing up! I was impressed that they would do that. I wished we would start a few minutes later though so everyone could at least get to their seat, but it may be notes for next time.

On and on, it's been over a month now since the show, and I've been receiving a lot of reviews from different medias. So far, I've been very relieved by the amazing reviews! Thank you so much for all the media who have watched the show and supported me and my fellow young designers. I couldn't be more honored to be able to showcase my works in front of your eyes. Hopefully you'll also like my follow up collections!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Milanese Trend Report : COLOR EXPLOSION

I think the Milanese designers this season went to a dinner together and decided to just put a jolt on our eyes for Spring 2011. Each collection brought an energy like never before in Milan, in fact Tim Blanks said that it was probably the most up-beat Milan Fashion Week he's been for a long time!

If New York designers decided to keep it simple with all white looks, Milanese designers won't stand for such somberness. Colors, bold colors, and even bolder colors dominated the runways of Milan Fashion Week. In fact the colors were so bold, primary colors just almost disappeared altogether.

Prada is probably one of those shows that energizes you, while you can't really pinpoint what is it that makes it that energetic. Was it the shape, the colors, the monkey embroidery or the banana print? The shape are amazing, and each individual pieces are so quirky that it's kinda amazing when everything is being put together.

Raf Simmons for Jil Sander took the collection way forward, it was so sleek, clean, and modern as Jil Sander always are, but then the colors are so bold it is as if he wanted to show that with minimalism you can still take it to the next level and be attractive.

Max Mara's collection started with very muted skin tone at the very beginning, sort of an homage to the house's signature probably, but then it went very colorful and happy towards the middle and closes with very solid brave colors. I like the casual sportswear element of it, the simplicity is probably why it was so good and somewhat luxurious.

Marni is back to it's roots as well, taking away all the lady-like element Consuelo Castiglioni brought back the original quirky smart ladies who love and wear Marni with pride. This time the shot of colors make it even more special. Combining brave colors with neutrals like cream and brown makes the girls modeling it look super cool and smart, which I think Marni customers are.

Donatella Versace said she started digging through the print archives of the house, and she was deeply inspired by the Greek print that the house is synonymous for. But then the print itself was colored, put across horizontally and vertically, and fringed. It was a really cool new way to play with the heritage of the brand, and definitely something unexpected but still very symbolic of the brand.

Missoni took the girl from last season and dyed it in neon. The free spirit of last season is still felt throughout the collection, but this time, acid color dominated the runway. Every color you can imagine is being put together in one outfit, making it the ultimate color explosive collection of the season, but dissecting the collection, each pieces are amazing unique pieces that screams young and trendy Missoni generation.

It's been a while since we see this many colors on a Gucci collection, but this time Frida Giannini decided to show the colorful side of the Gucci girl. It's a new kind of glamor for the Gucci girl, the looks and the silhouette is undeniably Gucci, but then the amazing new colors took it to the next level. It was refreshing kind of glamorous.

The dynamic duo Aquiliano Rimondi went very Italian for their collection. I thought out of everyone who do explosive colors this season (which were basically everyone in Milan) they did the most exceptional job in putting all the colors together. It is so easy for bold colors to overpower the outfit itself, but they make it still about the beautiful silhouette and the fact that the woman wearing it look stunning in their clothes.

One of the most star studded show in Milan this season was full of colors as well. Peter Dundas for Emilio Pucci proved himself to be worthy of the position with one of the best collection from the house since the departure of Christian Lacroix. Beautiful colors are everywhere, and the ladies look like they're just ready to go to the Greek islands enjoying their cocktails in their fabulous colorful outfits.

So it is no wonder that Milan is so vibrant, the positive energy is absolutely empowering and I'm just so glad that we're seeing something other than camel that was just raging last season.


note: Images are from

Monday, October 11, 2010

White Summer Energy

So what is the dominant color during New York Fashion Week for Spring 2011?

So it's been a long debate whether white is considered a color or not, since white is apparently the state of colorless, but no matter what, no less that 25 designers open their show with an all white look.

Basically the message this spring is that with white you can be all sort of things. Monique Lhuillier who started her show with this stunning white dress is very much lady like and elegant, as well as Isaac Mizrahi's pull toghether suit.

The 90s minimalist look that echoed so loudly during the week was projected nicely by Calvin Klein, Reed Krakoff and Max Azria, it's white and it's minimal, pretty much that was what's projected from the first look.

Edun and Michael Kors just go straight to the casual dressing, make sense considering white is the most relaxed color you can get. Michael's rich hippie interpretation was incredibly chic, and Edun is taking the brand a step further by being more fashion conscious this time.

For all the inner tomboy inside of you all, Christopher Lemaire's last Lacoste collection open with a look that just made me think of a little boy having fun dressing up, while it's actually a womenswear look. Nicole Miller's boyish and square interpretation of the tailored shook the basic plainness of white into the very core.

For the quirky out there, Alexander Wang didn't disappoint. Channeling Helmut Lang and some Japanese designer but taking it into a modern very sporty level, expanding his fashion vocabulary with a non-black collection, the very first time for him. While another young fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra, brought back Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana, but instead of making us reminiscing, he made us imagine. But no matter how quirky these two boys are, they all start with white.

So white is the color of the season? I certainly hope not. It's literally too painful to see another all white look walking down the runway since literally too many designers start with an all white look. At some point white can be impractical and unflattering for most ladies.

But then again, I love that summer energy brought in by the white. I love how white can also mean optimism which we now all-so-desperately need.

For now... Ciao!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Evening Wear Fascination

If you have been following my career since the very beginning, you'll know that I'm not the kind of designer who is heavy on the evening wear. When everyone was fascinated by the cascading chiffon of Elie Saab, or the magnificent Grecian draping of Alberta Ferreti, or even the
incredible beading of Giorgio Armani, I kept sticking like glue to the construction of Balenciaga or the architecture simplicity of Jil Sander, or rather the rebelliousness of Proenza Schouler or the extreme of McQueen and Galliano.

Beading is never my thing, and though I fully appreciate and sometimes do implement beading in some of my designs (by the requests of my lovely customers, of course), i do must admit that too much sparkle hurts my eyes.

Many of my classmates must have heard how I call Armani boring and Valentino coasting, some threw their eraser at me 'cause I can't seem to understand the beauty of 45 similar evening dresses walking through before my eyes, all with beading that took hundreds of hours to do and floating chiffon that were elegant and pretty, to me that particular Elie Saab collection look exactly the same.

But by then, I never really fell in love...

Cliche, I know. What exactly is the relation of love and designing an evening gown? I started to dig deeper into those people who does some of the most incredible evening gowns. And I realized that the one thing missing in my design element is romanticism. There's no sentiment there, it's all function and shape and emotion but never ro
mance, never passion, never that throbbing feeling inside you that says I fall in love with that dress.

And once my eyes are open to the beauty of romance in fashion, then and there, I can really appreciate the beauty of evening gown.

Giambatista Valli was my gateway to romance in fashion. I saw his collection and see how much love he must've put on every stitch, every detail, every cut. It was love. The lesson he gave me was love was to do beyond the necessary.
His clothes are pure love and poetry. It makes me wonder how much love he can give to another person...

Surely words cannot explain love, but a true poet like Olivier Theyskens can put them into magical creation that are simply breathtaking. It was not just beautiful to look at, the whole emotion caused by that dress is so powerful that it makes you want to touch, feel, or even know that magical feel wearing that dress. And that's just pretty much like love isn't it?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Oh My Shirt

What is the most essential key item in a man's wardrobe??
A shirt apparently.
Since high school, I've always counted on a nice shirt to dress up without being too dressed up, later on in life, I found out that I can also dress it down to a spectacular effect!!! lol
It is also the reason why I decided to just go with shirts for my 1st menswear collection since graduation.

Strangely enough, I wasn't the only fashion designer thinking this way. During the Fall collection (which by the way is all about layering) some designers decided to go the other way, stripping everything down into a simple shirt. Fall collection has never been more kind to tropical country like Indonesia.

Raf Simmons for Jil Sander went all the way slick and modern with his selection of shirt. This baby blue one is my favorite. I love the patch detail on the pocket, functional yet chic!

Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy started off his collection with a series of white shirts. I love white shirt since it's the chicest way to do cool. And his shirts are way awesome, and well cut, which adds another extra points.

DSquared2 bad-ass boys with punched out and bleeding face also put the f in Fabulous. I particularly love this white shirt with sequined shawl detail. It's badass fabulosity.

The always-historicized John Galliano opt for a quirky way to show off his technicality and skill. Pairing his fabulous shirt with a male corset is just freaky fabulous!!

So shirt it up, believe me everyone looks good in a well cut shirt!

(images from

Monday, April 19, 2010


So I'm not an exclusively menswear or womenswear designer. But I'm glad to say I've done both! Hehehe...
Here's an ad campaign for my new menswear collection.
Photography by Ariyanto Tirtosudiro
Hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Big And Chunky

Have you ever noticed that "Hunky" and "Chunky" are just a word away?
Well, in mens fashion for Fall 2010, Chunky is the new Hunky.
I always love winter, I really do, my skin looks amazing, I can layer up and eat as many things as I want, wear black and grey and dark colors all the time without people asking me whether I'm going to a funeral. But yes, those wind and snow can be a bitch sometimes.

Thankfully, this winter, feel free to layer as thick as you want (or gain as much weight and layer it later, if you prefer it).

Check out:

Burberry switched it up a gear, last season's super skinny, and tight pants and slinky cardigan are out, replaced with chunky and amazingly beautiful coats and jackets. One stare at it and you know it's going to feel comfortable to be wrapped around those jackets!

Roberto went streetwear fabulous with his new collection, check out his fun-tastic parka, combined with super cool pants and shirt and vest, if that's not youthful, I don't know what is!

Salvatorre Ferragamo chose American praire as the inspiration. How fabulous are those coats combined with chunky knits. And you know those are gonna be the things you'll be wearing everyday all winter long!

Not chunky enough? Check out D&G's extreme interpretation of this trend. How fabulous are those quilted wind breaker in knit pattern? Not to mention the fabulous knitted cardigan underneath and that silver ski-pants? Perfection (though to be completely honest, borderline comical).

So embrace your inner chunkiness and layer up til you can layer no more!

(all images from

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In Memory of Alexander McQueen

Lee McQueen, I believe has been the inspiration for so countless young designers out there. His vision and his craftsman are like no other.
I could go on and on about how wonderful his works are. But instead my latest collage which is an homage to him (and I think 9 of his latest female collections) to speak for themselves...
He's truly a superstar, and will always be remembered.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

McQueen... I miss you!

RIP Alexander McQueen...
He died out of heartbroken...
His mother died, his lover left him...
Little did he know that there's so many people out there who loves him and adores him...

You are truly irreplaceable...

Lee Alexander McQueen

Monday, February 15, 2010

Haute Couture Week is Over

They say, there's no future in Haute Couture, some say, yes there is.
But I think if they keep this ugliness happening, I don't think couture will last longer.
Seriously, I browse through the pictures on websites and I found those collections to be slightly... what's the word... questionable... And I'm really sorry, perhaps I need to be there to see it firsthand, but as a person who's watching it from my laptop screen, it looks like what I quote from Tim Blanks to be a "creative burnout".

from left-right (Chanel, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexis Mabille, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Giorgio Armani, Anne Valerie Hash)
pictures collage from

Let's start from Chanel. I'm always looking forward for a Chanel Couture show, because I know it's always going to be a technical feast. And yet somehow Karl managed to disappoint me twice in a couture season row. The hair is like.. Lady Gaga celebrates valentine's day, with acid color pops here and there. And the show was stuffed with Chanel jacket combined with matching shorts... SHORTS!!! Talk about sophistication gone wrong. There's no really interesting pieces, the shoes were ill-looking (i'm so sorry), and the finale was flat... Basically for Karl's standard, this is a hot pink mess.

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino was another hot mess. Excuse me, but it seems that they wanted to be fired or something. If the house of Valentino fired Allesandra Fachinetti who created an interesting ethereal couture collection for the house with the two people (who are actually really good with the ready to wear collections), who in a way insulted the brand by going to an avant-garde-but-not-there-yet-since-it's-a-classic-label-but-I-want-to-try-something-new-and-avatar-inspired, maybe they should re-think. This collection failed to deliver, failed to inspire, and most of all, failed to represent the house of Valentino.

Jean Paul Gaultier on the other hand, unlike many other didn't disappoint, though I believe he could've taken it a step further. Inspired by Mexican culture, he showed craftsmanship that many other decided to restrain themselves from. Lovingly done, but yet, it felt like he's trying to focus too much on his theme that it has become not-relate-able to current fashion. But still it's nice to see someone push the boundaries in some way.

Alexis Mabille, Alexis, Alexis, Alexis... Took bi-color inspiration for his latest couture collection. Was it a disaster? No, but was it original? No. I seem to remember other designers did a much better collection within the same theme. It did though, showcased what he did best, which is his ability in cutting. But it seems a bit forced somehow, and he was trying to prove something, grab some attention you might say. As far as grabbing my attention, it failed, but do I hate this collection, not at all. It was just... OK...

Christian Dior Couture by John Galliano was always be expected as an extravaganza. Whether it met my expectations? Somehow, but not entirely. It's a bit off putting to be honest to see Galliano playing with this historical theme all over again, picking up the whip and the equestrian theme, it's all like sort of, overdone, in a way, like trying to have the craftsmanship of a mega-haute-couture house to create something that's so simple. Galliano stripped most of the elaborate beading and decorational ornaments, and switch to extravagant drapery, which is something that we know he can do really well. But then again, I really miss his extravagant beading, I think the collection is a bit too safe for my taste.

I never really like Elie Saab's sense of ultra femininity, glamazonian, princess, ultra luxurious, mega beading dresses, it's all a bit passe for me. This time he tones it down a bit, threw pastel colors which helps creating the softness for what otherwise will be his regular collection. But the thing is, he's not the kind of designer you see and be inspired, or to find your one of a kind pieces. You go to Saab to get beautiful red carpet or evening dresses, which is exactly what he delivered yet once again, only this time is pastel.

Giorgio Armani for Armani Prive was inspired by the moon. Though I'm not his biggest fan, I somehow like this collection. The shaping and the color and the fabrication is very much couture, which I can say was lacking a little bit on a lot of these collections. But I just wished he wouldn't have taken it a bit to literal with his inspirations by putting crescent shape moon brooch everywhere in his collection, or literally creating a full moon dress that just look moronic. But on and on, the collection is full of fabulous pieces that couture consumers can love and wear it in her own way. That's luxury.

Ann Valerie Hash took couture to a different level this time. True couture, one of a kind, and you can never create the same outfit ever again. Why? Because it's true fashion recycling! Alber Elbaz's pajamas, Tilda Swinton's t-shirt, Daphnee Guiness Chanel jacket, et cetera, mixed and re-tailored to create a collection so cool and so edgy it's fabulous. But edgy and cool doesn't say couture now, is it. I found the collection to be fresh and youthful, though unfortunately fresh and youthful is not what the couture customer with a lot of money are. So though kudos to her creativity, her sense of real couture and luxury still remain questionable.

My favorite collection of this season is courtesy of a gentleman called Ricardo Tisci who design for Givenchy Couture. It was the most powerful collection, I think of them all. Ricardo showed his ability in overseeing the details. A lot of the garments themselves very much reminded me of what Hubert de Givenchy did back when he was designing, but with this hot and steamy youth injected and polished with a little bit of goth aesthetic. His sense of colors expand as well. He used to just do black and white, but now you get a collection that for his standard, very much colorful. The collection was inspirational and makes you just want to touch and oversee all the detail, well that's just the genius of him, I guess.

I know this time my review is a bit harsh, but it's true. In my point of view, if haute couture wants to survive for another fifty years, the players need to step up their game. Pret-a-porter has become so expensive and exclusive and equally creative that it makes people ask whether at this day and age haute couture is still relevant. Haute couture with it's price range will still be relevant if it remains to be pieces of clothing with strong point of view and taste and fit that is not questionable and understandably luxurious, it needs to be that.

As for me, I wish the world of haute couture lives forever more... I can't imagine world without the ultimate luxury...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Matrix

So I had a lot of fun, looking trough the fall winter collection of the designers doing menswear show in Milan and Paris just one week before the couture show. And let's just say, this season, the couture was pretty much disappointing, but that's another story.

Out of all the shows I've seen so far trough the magic of the internet, I'm sensing several trends going on. But of course I'm not gonna spill them out right away. I'll elaborate one by one.

The one most ferocious trend on menswear is the Futuristic Revival!
Eat that Ghesquiere! Menswear can be futuristic too apparently, and as a lover of everything futuristic (and black in this case), I couldn't be happier that next fall I get to walk around looking like Neo from the Matrix (but in cashmere or croco, of course). So enjoy my simplest yet most loving collage yet!! Wohoooo!!

(left to right) Dior Homme, Versace, and Rick Owens
courtesy of