The rich cultural heritage of Indonesia continues to be a source of inspiration for many of the local designers. Rinda Salmun presented a collection based on the Sundanese legend, Sangkuriang. While it wasn’t clear just how the legend actually informed the looks, nevertheless Salmun’s clear and cohesive vision saved the collection from straying out of focus.
Sticking to her signature style, the collection contained a sense of DIY element where clothes appeared to be haphazardly stitched together. In one of the looks, Salmun combined various patches of fabrics to form a dress. Sunflower, a recurring motif in the collection designed by Illustrator Agra Satria, was applied onto lace, which gives off a Van Gogh’s effect. Salmun clearly did not forget to put her Fine Arts background into good use here.
The slightly punkish, slighty rock-roll and full on girl power mood of the collection was affecting and persuasive. Salmun has unquestionably showed that she has the skills and ability to put forward collection that is sharp, focused and also wearable. But unfortunately, the collection was also one-dimensional, cold and rebellious just for the sake of it.
Anne Avantie could be likened to a fairy godmother. After all, plenty of women have tied the knot in her well-known modern Kebaya wedding gowns. Avantie has chosen to base her extensive collection on the sentimental values of Indonesia’s colonial past. Those who came to witness the collection definitely knew what they were in for.
Exquisite and heavily detailed Kebaya dress poured out one after another. It is also interesting to note that though extravagant, none of them felt overly designed, much thanks to Avantie’s instinct and sensitivity. Also, even with the body-hugging silhouette, one did not get the sense that the women were objectified.
Still, it also felt like a collection destined for the museum, to be encased and admired by visitors. Then again, Avantie has reached a point where no matter what happens next in her career, her legacy is secured. She has undoubtedly left an indelible and significant mark in Indonesia’s fashion industry.
That’s also why younger designers, like Rinda Salmun, should also think long and hard on the kind legacy that they would like to leave behind one day. Youth should not be wasted on the young.