People

Obituary: Rising fashion
star brought color to catwalk

JP/Jerry Adiguna

Designer Adesagi Kierana, who died in an apparent accident in Bandung on Sunday, was remembered with affection by fellow designers and celebrities, many of whom were regular clients of his colorful designs.

Singer Titi DJ was a loyal patron of the 34-year-old designer, renowned for his dynamic and innovative use of color.

“Adesagi has been my favorite designer since he began his career,” she told The Jakarta Post on Monday. “He was bold enough to use primary colors in his designs, and I love color. And he provided daring designs in the Indonesian fashion world, so he was a perfect match with me. His creations also helped make me look slimmer without wearing a corset.”

She said she also lost a dear friend.

“He had such a gentle personality, he was a sweetheart to me. He was such a good, good person. The Indonesian fashion world has lost one of its best designers.”

Titi was among several celebrities who participated in Adesagi’s first solo show, “Almost Famous”, during the Indonesian Fashion Designers Association [IPMI] annual event in October 2011. Others included singers Ruth Sahanaya and Dewi Sandra, as well as Manohara, who was a close friend of Randy Yan, who died with the designer due to apparent carbon monoxide poisoning from a water heater. Adesagi and Randy were spending the New Year’s weekend in the designer’s hometown, friends and colleagues said.

“I’m still in shock,” Dewi tweeted.

Fellow designers expressed sadness that he died just as his career was taking off. Born Ade Candra Kirana Sagi, the graduate of Bunka School of Fashion worked as a fashion stylist for Ramli, and later as a designer for Martha Beauty Gallery and creative designer for Susi Hedijanto, according to Kamus Mode Indonesia (Indonesian Fashion Encyclopedia). He became an independent designer in 2002, with a vow to become the “creator of colorful dreams”, as he described himself in his Twitter biography.

“The IPMI show was his first and last show, and his determination was just paying off,” said designer Sapto Djojokartiko, who knew Adesagi for 14 years. “He told me a lot about his life. The deepest impression he has left on me is from the struggles of his career, but also how he remained humble regardless of his achievements.”

Ninuk Mardiana Pambudy, a journalist and co-author of Kamus Mode Indonesia, said Adesagi was starting to make his mark, especially in bringing ready to wear to a wider market.

“He wasn’t the type of designer to produce a ‘fantastic’ creation to attract attention. But he had distinctive, edgy and fluid designs that were high quality. In doing ready to wear, Adesagi helped Indonesian fashion to be enjoyed and appreciated by many people. It’s not easy for a young designer to set up their own ready-to-wear business but he had the courage to do it.”

Up and coming designer Didiet Maulana said vibrant designs and color were Adesagi’s design trademarks. “He wanted to make women of all ages beautiful.”

Didiet counted Adesagi and Randy, a boutique owner and commercial model, as friends. “Randy was a loveable person, he always brought good vibes and was positive. He was a very hard worker.”

Didiet said he would remember the colors of Adesagi’s personality.

“He was always smiling and caring for people,” he said of Adesagi, whose mother had died in December 2011. “The color of his life was always spring and summer, even if there was a storm happening. He always gave people a summer breeze.”

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