Designers everywhere yearn for pop icon Lady Gaga to push the fashionista envelope in one of their creations.
For young Indonesian designer Tex Saverio, that extraordinary moment — and attendant international exposure — came early in his career. None other than the Gaga is wearing his work, My Courtesan, in the May edition of US Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
It came as a big surprise to Tex, who realizes that his design cred has soared with the gloss of Lady Gaga donning his black tulle gown embroidered with silk organdy and taffeta embellishments.
“I first found out when one of my friends tagged the fashion spread photos on Facebook. The first time I saw Lady Gaga in my gown, I completely froze!
It was a life-changing moment for me,” he says.
Not long after, Tex tweeted: “It’s official, Lady Gaga in Tex Saverio in Harper’s Bazaar!”
The buzz spread very fast in the past week about the 26-year-old designer, whose humble demeanor belies a strong determination. It comes only eight months after the launch of his haute couture label, Saverio.
While the Lady Gaga connection has brought him to the attention of the general public, the global fashion community was already well aware of his precocious talent.
The ornate but edgy creations of “La Glacon”, his second Spring/Summer 2011 collection, earned gasps of awe and a standing ovation during the Dewi Fashion Knights fashion show, which resoundingly closed Jakarta Fashion Week last November.
“La Glacon” took inspiration from the contradicting spirit of ice, which appears light and delicate yet feels strong and tough.
“Ice also symbolizes a woman’s character, which expresses a gentle, feminine look but has a strong fighter spirit inside,” explains Tex, who considers actress Angelina Jolie as well as Lady Gaga as his muses.
Celebrity blogger Coco Perez praised Tex’s designs as a solid reminder of the late Alexander McQueen’s creations. Tex’s friends in the fashion community also mentioned that Lady Gaga would be an ideal celebrity to someday wear his works of art, and it sparked an idea in the young man.
“Right after I listened to my friends’ opinion, I contacted Lady Gaga’s fashion director, Nicola Formichetti, and introduced myself via a Facebook message,” he said.
”Ten minutes later, I received a positive reply from him. I was flattered when I read his first sentence: Hi, I know who you are!” Tex recalled.
Within 24 hours, he managed to ship seven design pieces taken from both of his collections to Lady Gaga.
Model Julliette poses in Tex Saverio’s dress for the Weekender’s February fashion spread with I Made Widya Diputra’s White Lotus in the background. JP/Bayu Adhitya
”My clothes were initially prepared for the photo shoot of Lady Gaga’s upcoming album, Born This Way, but sadly they arrived a day too late. But I didn’t feel heartbroken for long because I was later told that Lady Gaga loves my clothes very much and asked my permission to keep them for future projects.”
And that is how she came to be wearing the dress.
Tex, who received his fashion education from Bunka School of Fashion as well as a brief stint in Phalie Studio, seems calm and composed despite the media frenzy and newfound pressures.
He says it is a great honor to be dubbed the Indonesian McQueen, but plays down the comparison with the British designer who committed suicide in February 2010.
“Honestly, I am nowhere near the legendary icon for now. I’m in my first year as a fashion designer and I still have a lot of things to learn,” he said.
“Now, I feel more motivated than ever. If people already appreciate me as the Indonesian McQueen, then it is my job to always present the best collections to them.”
Tex probably will not have any problem coming up with his next masterpieces, judging from his perfectionist nature and dedicated work ethic.
“I never settle for anything less than the best in terms of my design results. I only seek for the perfect end product in all of my creations. I always try to find the best solutions whenever I come upon any technical problems with my designs. I will not give up until I am fully satisfied with what I’ve created,” says Tex, who names Valentino as his favorite fashion designer.
For him, it means working until early in the morning on most days, fastidiously following the intricate progress for each of his creations.
Each design holds very personal meaning.
“Before I go to sleep, I have to inspect all of my ‘babies’ first. I have to make sure that every design is being realized just like I have in mind.”
Because of his passion for details, and perfection, he prefers to a rather small collection for his runway shows, usually with only two to three months to prepare.
“My designs are my masterpieces, and I put the same amount of focus and energy even into the seemingly less complicated pieces. So I’d rather formulate only a handful of designs that hold extremely remarkable craftsmanship for every new collection.”
Tex makes sure that each design bears different kinds of details, meant to hold the interest of the audience throughout his shows.
Each collection holds true to his elegantly edgy signature designs, a display of feminine hourglass waist silhouette mixed with outrageous striking details made from different materials. It’s a bold design approach that, interestingly, appears a fabulous combination of Valentino’s classic cuts with McQueen’s whimsical modern details.
“I love experimenting with unique materials, such as flexible metals, synthe-tic leathers, feathers, transparent nets, threads plaited together and blended with unique embroideries as well as
metal chains bound together with coins and steel wires.”
Tex has his family, his loyal supporters since the first day he embarked on his fashion journey, to thank for where he is today.
“They are the fuel that keeps me going as a designer. I’m blessed to have a family who understand my passion and always stand by my side no matter what happens. They always come to my runway shows and express their sincere proudness of me.”
It is a wonderful beginning for Tex Saverio, who boldly quit high school to pursuit his lifelong dream of becoming a couture designer.
He has no regrets about giving up his formal education. That decision started him on the path to becoming a household name as a homegrown Indonesian talent who is quickly taking the international fashion world by storm.