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Monday, July 19, 2010

DC Fashion Event: Traveling to Remarkable Indonesia

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the "Remarkable Indonesia" Fashion Showcase held at the Ritz Carlton in D.C. What an amazing event! You were immersed in Indonesian culture from the moment you stepped into the ballroom until the time you walked to the elevator. The evening was hosted by the Cita Tenun Indonesia/Indonesian Woven Cloths Association. Their primary mission is the preserve original Indonesian woven cloths, tenun, and to establish Indonesia as a central market for woven textiles. I walked through the hall where they had all of their woven textiles on display. I have to go to Indonesia. It has totally been added to my Bucket List.

The wonderful evening began with a lovely mixed fare of delish Indonesian dishes including the most delectable dessert (I love dessert) which was topped off by a fabulous cup of coffee that did not last long enough for me (says the coffee addict). Everything was masterfully done which tickled me to death because most of the events that I attend the food usually consists of hors d'oeuvres. So it was the great start to a fab night.

To further stimulate my senses, there were several cultural dance presentations from various Indonesian regions. The costumes were gorgeous and the dances were highly spiritual. I was easily no longer in D.C. I was totally being transported to another place.

In between the dance presentations, Indonesian designers Oscar Lawalata and Denny Wirawan presented two very different but amazing collections. Both designers revel in the idea of bridging tradition with modernity. Lawalata starts with culture first. He then begins to visualize how he can use these beautiful textiles so that it aligns with modern fshion. He primarily uses the Ikat fabric from East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. In his process, he works very closely with the villagers who weave the fabric. Involving himself with the villagers keeps him true to his work. "For me, it is always about culture first," Lawalata said. "I am bridging my culture and modern lifestyle." The long dress was my absolute favorite from his collection. You had to see this dress up close and feel the fabric. Incredible.

Oscar Lawalata

Denny Wirawan's love of fashion dates back to his elementary school life. "I have always wanted to be a designer," he said. He also creates collections that use traditional fabrics in a modern way. His collections always start with inspiration that can come from everywhere and anywhere including books, musics, his travels, etc. From there, he begins to sketch. With his current collection, he used fabrics that are traditionally used from the Muslim prayer, or Salaat. "I wanted to expand the use of the fabric for fashion not just for prayer," Wirawan said. He wants to show that these amazing fabrics can be used for many purposes. I had quite a few favorites from Wirawan's collection - primarily because he used so much color and offset traditional fabrics with silk and even feathers. He also was playful with silhouettes. But the long dress with the pink ruffled top with the Ikat fabric underneath was my absolute favorite. I could not wait to get backstage to touch that dress up close. Totally loved it.

Denny Wirawan


Candice said...

hey i really like your blog :)

cool pics, i love some of the dresses :)