A group of Southeast Asian fashion designers, calling themselves the “Asean Fashion Designers Showcase,” or AFDS for short, presented a trunk show at the lobby lounge of the Gran Melia Hotel in South Jakarta on Friday (24/02).
“We started developing the AFDS concept at the end of 2015,” Hayden Ng, a Singaporean fashion designer and co-founder of AFDS, said during the show’s press conference.
The non-profit organization, which started with six co-founders, now has 15 members from seven Asean countries. Each year, they present a trunk show in each country.
Eight AFDS members presented capsule collections in the trunk show in Jakarta.
Indonesian designer Hannie Hananto kicked off the show with a Muslim wedding dress collection: six A-line long dresses of brocade, silk and textured tulle. Some of the dresses were embroidered with cute little pompoms.
“It’s my ready-to-wear Muslim wedding dress collection,” Hannie said. “Each comes in different sizes and colors. They’re quite affordable compared to the typical Muslim wedding dresses these days.”
Nguyen Quoc Binh from Vietnam presented a stunning evening wear collection called ‘The Beauty of Bamboo.” The dresses, all made of satin silk, are adorned with oversized prints and embroideries of dark bamboo forests.
Sirus Tantiyapon from Thailand presented a women’s resort wear collection, called “Woman With A Flower.” It features loose-fitting dresses decorated with beautiful hand-paintings of women’s faces and flowers.
“The concept [of my capsule collection] is simple, contemporary and easy-to-wear,” Tantiyapon said.
Another Thai designer, Yuki Unawan Tangkaravoon, collaborated with women from a conflict area in deep south Thailand for her evening wear collection.
“Few people know it, but the region is also known for their beautiful embroidery,” Tangkaravoon said. “All the embroideries on my dresses are made by women from this area.”
The show ended with a colorful collection by Indonesian designer and co-founder of AFDS, Lenny Agustin. Her collection, “Sugar Skull of Frieda Kahlo,” is made with handwoven fabrics from Kalimantan and batik from East Java.
The audience gave a long round of applause at the end of the show.
Some went straight away to a pop-up store at the lobby lounge to buy the pieces shown on the runway.
Indonesia Fashion Chamber’s (IFC) Taruna K. Kusmayadi praised the AFDS initiative after the show.
“I think this is a very good idea,” Taruna said. “Asean fashion designers should have some kind of platform to get more recognition in the region.”
“Asean should have their own say in fashion,” Taruna added. “Why not? Give Western fashion a bit of a challenge.”
After Jakarta, AFDS will move on with similar showcases in Singapore in May, Cambodia in June, Laos in September and Thailand in December.