Lifestyle

For the love of ‘kebaya’

Designer Raden Sirait displays dozens of kebaya-inspired dresses and evening gowns.

Born in Porsea, North Sumatra, the fashion designer has great affection for the kebaya and has created a collection inspired by its beauty.

For his latest solo show “Kebaya for the World”, the opener of a two-week fashion event at the 2012 Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival (JFFF) in North Jakarta’s Kelapa Gading, Raden displays dozens of kebaya-inspired dresses and a bunch of sweeping train floor-length evening gowns.

It was a star-studded show since he recruited dozens of celebrities and models, including Raden’s icons such as actress Ardina Rasty, actress Asty Ananta, the 2005 Miss Indonesia Imelda Fransisca and actress and emcee Maudy Koesnaedi, to strut their way on the catwalk to showcase 80 sets of outfits.

A number of artists also performed live, ranging from prominent musician Vicky Sianipar and singers like Dewi Gita, Lea Simanjuntak, dangdut crooner Kristina Iswandari and new teenage sensation Putri Ayu to the University of Indonesia’s Paragita choir.

With all the celebrity performances, one thing that popped into fashion editors’ and journalists’ minds was how long the fashion show would be, as we recalled that last year’s parade, held at Central Jakarta’s Taman Ismail Marzuki cultural center, lasted for almost three hours.

“It will take around an hour,” said Raden when he was asked about the show’s duration.

The show consisted of eight sequences, kicking off with Raden’s five icons, all clad in red dresses.

Raden combined colorful asymmetrical-cut kebayas, either sleeveless, short-sleeved or long-sleeved, with diverse Indonesian traditional fabrics like batik, songket and tenun from North Sumatra, South Sumatra’s Palembang, Lampung and Java.

While some designers have started to put aside dazzling decorations on their collections, Raden, whose kebaya collection was worn by VOA Indonesia presenter Debby Samual at the 2012 Academy Awards, uses such applications, in accordance with local customers who are still pretty much into all the glitter and gleaming thing.

The body-hugging kebayas, adorned with brocade ornamentation and sparkling gemstones, beads and crystals, were paired with ballgowns and super long trains to give a contemporary yet glamorous look.

For a more sophisticated nuance, he paired kebaya with mini skirts and long rainbow-colored trains, for a sexy yet playful feel.

The crowd roared when sultry actress-cum-singer Julia Perez appeared on the stage in a skimpy, low-cut, almost-bare-it-all kebaya revealing her ample cleavage.

For young customers, Raden presented a combination of modern kebaya with round skirts, bright-colored batik mini dresses and knee-high boots. 


The designer also came up with a number of dark-colored evening gowns and cloaks, made of synthetic leather with unique applications.

Besides displaying skin-baring kebaya and dresses, Raden pleased his Muslim customers through a series of kaftan collections in the Middle East sequence.

The models, who were former beauty pageant contestants of Miss Indonesia and Puteri Indonesia, made their way in flowing dresses with fully sky-high decorated headscarves.

With all the embellishments and applications, Raden’s collection is pretty much suitable for those who like flashy outfits.

— Photos Courtesy of Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival 2012 —

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