Indonesian traditional textiles were in the limelight at the closing night of Rome Fashion Week on Sunday with a showcase of couture creations.
Third-year students from the Koefia International Fashion Academy showcased 46 of their hand-sewn couture pieces. Taking “Memorabilia: Impossible Wardrobe” as their theme, the students reinterpreted Indonesian textiles in their own way, combining them with other fabrics like cotton and linen as well as embellishments such as applique and embroidery.
Style-wise, the creations ranged from a vintage-looking 60s jacket with tenun (handwoven textile) accents, a jumpsuit cut from Megamendung batik to plastic-layered batik modest wear.
The fashion show was also attended by representatives from notable fashion house Balenciaga, who awarded Koefia student Valeria Catania for her excellence in fashion production.
Koefia head Antonio Lo Presti said the concept of fashion memorabilia had successfully married two different cultures, saying the combination was “unusual and near impossible” yet extremely inspiring.
Indonesian Ambassador to Italy Esti Andayani said in her opening speech that it was hoped the collaboration would inspire young designers to create cross-cultural works that can encourage more understanding between nations.
“Fashion is more than the process of designing clothes, it is a form of expression to understand the world around us. Tonight’s presentation brings a mix of Indonesian and European cultural heritage, across time and space,” Esti said.
The fashion show was part of the celebrations surrounding 70 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Italy. The Indonesian Embassy in Rome provided a number of traditional Indonesian textiles for Koefia students to work on under their professors’ supervision, which took six months to complete.
Following the show, the collection will be exhibited at the embassy starting July 10. A repeat show on the evening was attended by a number of diplomatic and industry guests, including representatives from fashion houses Gucci and Fendi.
Fashion activist and author of Contemporary Indonesian Fashion: Through the Looking Glass, Alessandra B. Lopez y Royo, who attended the event, said the Koefia show demonstrated the enormous potential of collaborative work in the field of fashion between Italy and Indonesia.
“’Made in Italy’ and ‘Made in Indonesia’ are both rooted in age-old traditions of design and workmanship that eschew the ugliness of fast fashion and can really contribute to sustainable clothing for our contemporary world,” she told The Jakarta Post by email.
“Indonesian and Italian designers have much in common and much to share. We can look forward to wonderful collaborations.” (ste)