I really want to dedicate this post to the Indonesian designer that I found to be great and inspiring. I personally know some of the people in this list, and I greatly admire them for their work and their personality.
Let's start with the most obvious favorite designer of mine...
Biyan reminded me a lot of my own personal favorite master from Belgium, Dries Van Noten. But what's different about Biyan is that this is like taken to the next level. All the fabrics and embellishments were nothing like I've ever seen before (and this was confirmed by fellow designers Albert Yanuar and Jeffry Tan). But the amazing thing was the way he works with those elaborate fabrics and cut them in the most simple way. The juxtaposition of the very elaborate textile and the simple pattern cutting strike the perfect balance, the way that a lot of designer in Indonesia seem to forget that most of the time, less is definitely enough.
What I love about his as well is that his sensibility is so international. Proven that so far, he's the only ready-to-wear designer in Indonesia with a luxury market that has penetrated the international market.
Moving away from the pret-a-porter section to the couture section. Adrian Gan definitely is on top of my list of Indonesia's amazing couturiers. He's not the flashiest of all designers, in fact he's probably shown less amongst his peers. But when he does show, oh-la-la.. the fashion crowd would stop and just admire his creations.
Nobody, and I mean nobody in Jakarta does the thing that he does so well. Combination of art and architectural piece is definitely expected when seeing one of his shows. There's always the drama, and yet they make you wonder about the techniques and all the construction that must've gone in making those amazing dresses.
Famously being of the most expensive ones in Jakarta as well, you can appreciate his creations by looking at how his clients would all be proud of what they're wearing (and the long list of super important clients of his).
Since then I was lucky enough to have been his assistant sometime in 2009. His creative energy and what I can say is just hawk-eye have taught me a lot about detailing and how to justify putting those thousands of dollars price tag on a garment. His later exploration has involved ancient technique 'macrame', while previous collections have explored the smocking technique (which I personally witnessed), and the pattern magic (yes, that incredible pattern book from Japan), that he translated into sensuous complicated but understated collection.
2 years ago he was finally selected to be the member of IPMI, the prestigious fashion designer association (alongside the late Adesagi), who hosted the likes of Ghea, Biyan, Adrian Gan, and the dozens of high powered important fashion designers. A very well deserved achievement.
I met him when I was a dresser, backstage at his fashion show in JCC, a random Sunday on 2008 (I think). What I saw back then was the definition of well made. I kid you now, I have never seen any garment so well made and so precisely cut in a symmetrical way in my life, and I stand by that opinion today (ironically being a designer myself).
There are a lot of couturier in Indonesia, but I think (disregarding the French regulation, of course) in my humble opinion, he's the only one in Indonesia worthy of the title 'haute'. On his twitter page, he describes himself as a couture Nazi, and I kinda see the point.
On his couture collection on the previous Jakarta Fashion Week, He uses the bias tape technique, which obviously all of us working in fashion has done. My friend described it as nothing special almost. But on a rare occasion where I get to dissect his collection furthermore, I found that those tapes are 0.3cm in width, consistently all over the garment, without any seam connecting the bias tape (which means that the bias tape was cut in one line only), and they ended up in a perfect square, instead of the regular 'easy' round shape.
Now it takes a really meticulous person to do that (my seamster would leave me in the morning if I try to pull that one on them). His sense of perfection make him on top of his game, despite the fact that he has the youngest career from everyone in this list.
So there you go, the part 1 of my favorite Indonesia designer list. It just dawned on me that they are B-A-B-A, really didn't think about that until just now.
I will make the list a lot longer. But enjoy this one for the moment..