Diversity usually means variety and often with the intention of generating something new from a heady mix. But what makes diversity more noticeable is when all elements of the composition are in alignment. Biyan Wanaatmadja, who has now entered his 34th year of working in fashion, celebrates diversity through “Benang Merah”—the theme of his latest collection of women's wear.
“In anything you do and everything you do, whether in life or at work, there must be something that drives and inspires you,” said Biyan about his collection. “There is evolution in every phase of the life of every person, and these will indirectly shape and forge his or her character.”
In Biyan’s spring/summer 2017 collection, inspiration comes from a variety of factors: history, cultural influences, the media, shapes, colours, textures and sounds, all from his personal experience, including inspiration from his previous collections.
“I want to do colours,” he said of this collection, which is full of contrasts and textures as well as shades of red, coral, indigo blue, fresh mint and olive, all combined with off-white, beige, gold, silver and black. These were devised through processes and experimentation, but all retain continuity in terms of silhouettes, volumes and materials, including Chintz fabrics from Gujarat, India.
Indian textiles became an important commodity for export to China and Indonesia before they penetrated the European market. Now European countries such as Britain and France have begun producing their own Chintz. And so it is that some of the motifs and dyes in batik production are now influenced by such textiles. One aspect influencing one another: everything that exists around us actually always has connectivity. “There is a common thread that always connects,” explained Biyan.
Biyan has also played with a variety of styles by incorporating luxurious materials such as lame jacquard together with more basic materials such as denim and linen. Ideas comprising raw edges and patchwork-inspired embroidery from previous motifs have also been combined. Metal embossing, handcrafted brass, mineral stones, carved bone, glass and crystal beads, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and lace ribbons are some of the many elements used by Biyan in the beadwork and jewellery details in this collection. The result is a series of unique works: free-spirited and intricate, but still wearable.
Biyan admit that this collection is different from previous collections, but remains in harmony. “It’s both beautifully contrasting and harmonious,” he said. With the launch of the collection held at the Segara Ballroom of The Dharmawangsa Jakarta on June 1, this beautiful harmonisation by Biyan would not have happened without such intricate processes that combine the perfect and imperfect in absolute harmony.
Photo courtesy of Davy Linggar Photography
Another spectacular collection was also presented on Tex Saverio's Absolutex, read here.