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Haryono Setiadi: Man of design

Jakarta-born Sydney-based designer Haryono Setiadi is renowned as a young creative designers on the Australian fashion scene, but he finds himself wandering back to the past for inspiration.

Each of his collections is a reflection of his discoveries and journeys — just like his latest creations that were presented during Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) where Haryono showcased his admiration toward tenun ikat woven cloth, which he discovered when traveling to Bali.

“I want to take this traditional Indonesian heritage and give a modern touch to it,” Haryono said on Friday evening.

Haryono and four other notable Indonesian designers were selected to display their collections at the prestigious Dewi Fashion Knights, a show that concluded the week-long fashion event.

A line of models looked stunning in Haryono’s elegant modern dresses in their shades of black, white and Prussian blue. His collection is a compendium of silky dresses with asymmetrical lines and unexpected layers in the bodices and skirts.

Black and white geometrical tenun ikat patterns were tastefully incorporated into the dresses, giving an edgy feel to the collection.

“Handmade textiles have been my main inspiration in these past two years. I love to discover little-known traditional textiles and create a modern interpretation out of them,” Haryono said.

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In Australia, Haryono gained a reputation as one of the hottest talents in the fashion industry. By the age of 30, he won numerous accolades and commercial successes for his precision tailoring, innovative fabrication treatments and startling inventiveness. Recently, he was nominated for the 2015 Woolmark Prize.

Before stepping into the fashion world, the only boy of four siblings aimed to be a businessman, just like his father. He left Indonesia to study business and statistics in Sydney and worked as a finance analyst only for a year before he decided to pursue his true calling in fashion.

“When I was child, I just knew I was attracted to colors and drawings. Based on that, I chose to enter the fashion world because I love playing with and combining various fabrics.”

He scored a three-month internship with Japanese designer Akira Isogawa, one of Australia’s most respected designers, and climbed his way into the production and design departments. “From him [Isogawa] I learn about techniques in designing textiles, but mostly about how to run a business,” Haryono said.

After more than a year, he took a designing job at Nicola Finetti’s line, Nylon Frocks, for three and a half years before he decided to set up his own line, An Ode to No One, in 2011 to raise money. “Three years later, after I felt that I was strong enough, I rebranded the line with my name.”

Haryono first earned widespread acclaim after debuting Australia’s first 3D printed Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, in which he personally created 3D fabric patterns that change if seen through 3D glasses. The collection won him a 2011 Chambord Shine Award, which celebrates emerging design talent in Australia.

In the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, he presented Visceral, an autumn/winter collection of luxury sportswear with eye-catching digital prints inspired by atoms and molecules. Vogue Australia listed Visceral as one of the top 10 moments of the fashion week.

From state-of-the-art fashion, Haryono finds himself wandering back to the past, using traditional and natural fabrics – such as silk, wool and cotton – as the main ingredients for his collections.

Following his presence at the JFW, he is considering expanding his line to Indonesia while striving to present his works on international runaways.

“I was born in Jakarta, so wherever I go, I will always have Jakartan and Indonesian blood rushing through my veins. I am in Sydney, but maybe next year I will be in New York and the following year in Paris,” he said. “But wherever I am, I will always introduce myself as a designer who was born and raised in Indonesia.”

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