Renowned Indonesian fashion designer Sebastian Gunawan and his designer wife Cristina Panarese recall the early Victorian era and take inspiration from the richness of the 19th-century costumes for their latest fashion show entitled “Aristocrat” on November 11.

Held at the hotel ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Pacific Place, the fashion show presented the designers’ two fashion lines: Sebastian Red and Sebastian Sposa. The first is known for its eclectic ready-to-wear attire, while the latter focuses on beautiful wedding gowns. Interestingly, both of the latest collections drawn inspiration from the 1800s: a period of time particularly known for classic tuxedos and flamboyant gowns.

Seba, the designer’s nickname, and wife Cristina got the inspiration after watching the 1963’s Italian film Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), a movie that depicts the lives of aristocrats amid the social upheaval of the 1860s. The period costumes are then translated into 70 pieces of contemporary ready-to-wear with elegant design and style, such as off-shoulder, small waist and full skirt, blossoming silhouettes to ruffled sleeves and simplified leg-of-mutton sleeve. The Sebastian Red also saw cocktail and body-hugging dresses.

Aristocrat also allowed the duo to be playful and to experiment with genders, which can be seen in their evening dresses complete with white collars that used to be worn by 19th-century gentlemen. The idea behind this is to create feminine attires that still incorporate strong masculine elements, saying that women can still look sexy with men’s clothing part. Not just that, the collection also presented other gender-bending numbers, including asymmetrical skirt designed with low front and long end with embroidery motifs, and a jumpsuit tailored in suit cutting style.

To ensure the perfect gender integration in their designs, Seba and Cristina chose an assortment of materials, starting from damask, crepe, crepe silk, chiffon, georgette and lace. Elsewhere, the deep and bold colours presented on the runway also represent the very same notion, such as cobalt blue and garnet red combined with classic black along with variant shades of powder pink and buttercup yellow and white tones.

The fashion show ended by showcasing eight stunning wedding dresses from Sebastian Sposa collection adorned with crystals and long trains. The models were also spotted wearing gorgeous pearl necklaces and headpieces crafted by seasoned accessories designer Rinaldy A. Yunardi.

Against the 19th-century-inspired backdrop, the models glided on the runway flaunting a total of 78 pieces from the Sebastian Red and Sebastian Sposa fashion line that took the designer and his wife nine months to finish. With Aristocrat, the Asian Couture Federation (ACF) member designer aimed to present urban women who seek simple yet classy attire a whole new wardrobe choice that promises a breath of fresh air with a historical touch.

Photo Credit: Heri B. Heryanto

Tags: Fashion, 2016, Sebastian Gunawan, Indonesian Fashion Designer, Cristina Panarese