Flying to New York for Fashion Week was a dream come true for six Indonesian designers showing for the first time on the Indonesian Diversity SS18 Runway. New York Fashion Week: First Stage is a new platform that gives global designers the opportunity to show at NYFW, whether they are debuting in the U.S. for the first time or looking to make new global connections and further their presence.
Beautiful handcrafted fabrics and embroideries glided down the runway unlike anything industry members had ever seen before, though the details and level of craftsmanship are customary of high-end Indonesian fashion. Guests were wowed as theatrical beats pumped through the room and models walked impeccably adorned by handcrafted Indonesian elements.
Each designer saw this show as an opportunity to bring Indonesian design to the runways of New York to embody cultural inclusion in a tough social climate.
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Geometric prints and beaded brocades permeated Dian Pelangi’s bold collection. Menswear-inspired suiting pieces in unexpected bright colors brought to life the hustle and bustle of New York City. Subway tile-like embellishments highlighted waistlines and shoulders and gave creative flair to straight silhouettes.
Barli Asmara showed a gorgeous collection of white lace cold shoulder dresses and gowns. Inspired by purity and Middle Eastern architecture, these layered and laced up pieces were complimented by bejeweled statement earrings. A full pearl embellished gown stole the show with its powerful turtleneck structure and beaded waistline.
Melia Wijaya dug all the way to her roots to create a collection of impressive garments tied to the famous Indonesian folklore, Sawunggaling. The story praises the creative and full of energy rooster and peacock. In an effort to preserve the true meaning, Wijaya sent feather adorned headpieces, gowns and separates down the catwalk in earthy tones. Caged boning created an hourglass frame on a gorgeous few gowns and pants.
Larger than life, yet dainty gold headpieces sat atop Catherine Njoo’s models. Rich, gold embroideries and beaded batik fabrics crafted into beautiful forms created an ultra luxurious wave over the entire collection. Rounding out Njoo’s runway was a jaw-dropping, egg-shaped gold headpiece that opened and closed to unveil a dimly lit pagoda.
Vivi Zubedi believes in a world of equal love between all cultures and crafted an incredible collection to hone in on that theme. A rich color palette with subtle prints was embellished with branded patchwork that read “Makkah Madinah Jannah”. Also, making a bold political statement was her floor length abbaya embellished with a beautiful “All Colors Matter” and her use of various size models dressed in hijab, including plus size.
All designers accessorized with handbags by the infamous Doris Dorthea, top celebrity go-to designer for custom handbags. The brand prides itself on the use of exotic skins and leather. Vibrant colors collided with exotic skin in beautifully crafted, structured mini bags.
Photos: Brian Ach for Indonesian Diversity NYFW: First Stage