Audi is now seven years into Fashion Nation, an eleven-day event full of runway shows and snazzy after parties. More than sixty labels that call Senayan City home will present their newest collections on the catwalk from April 10-21; and if the opening night is any indication of the glamour that will grace the Main Atrium will see for the next two weeks, then we are all in for a treat.
Invited guests, media, and onlookers at Senayan City’s Main Atrium spoke in hushed tones prior to the start of the show, but the politely subdued assembly quickly turned into a madding crowd when a jet black Audi A6 drove by the stage area and dropped off Maylaffayza to raucous cheers. The violinist made one costume change and commanded a rapt audience as she performed a total of four pieces of music on the rotunda-shaped stage.
Host of the evening Nadya Hutagalung came onstage, looking as beautiful as ever in a dark gown and inciting adoring jealousy from the people around me. “She hasn’t changed at all since her MTV years,” someone sitting behind me observes. Senayan City’s Veri Y. Setiady was invited onstage for opening remarks, underlining how Fashion Nation has always supported the efforts of young Indonesian fashion designers. He then leaned over to let the crowd in on a a little secret: come October this year, Senayan City will be the new home of Jakarta Fashion Week, an announcement which incited surprisingly thunderous applause from the audience. The people around me in the media pit where I was seated began speculating possible venues in the building and quickly approved of the location switch.
Following all introductory niceties, Nadya brought onstage the top three finalists of Asia’s Next Top Model to announce the winners of Audi’s Style Maker Awards. ANTM Winner Jessica Amornkuldilok from Thailand and finalists Kate Ma (Taiwan) and Stephanie Retuya (Philippines) brought their onscreen charm into real life and were warmly welcomed by the crowd as they read out winners of the award in four categories, with winners including socialite Fitria Yusuf and singer Andien. I was shocked when someone told me that Taiwanese Kate is actually five months pregnant – it was nearly impossible to spot the telltale signs of pregnancy on the girl!
Asia’s Next Top Model winner Jessica demonstrating to us why she won.
Singer Andien receiving the Most Stylish Celebrity Award from Kate.
Stephenie present Fitria Yusuf with her Most Stylish Socialite Award.
After all the awards and the talking came the real reason for celebration of the night: the runway show by hugely popular designers Ari Saputra, Rusly Tjohnardi, and Mel Ahyar! The first collection to walk out belonged to Ari Saputra, who has strayed from his roots of fussy luxe, opting instead for a more down to earth pret-a-porter look. He showed off instead a series of very wearable solid and sober blacks and whites that I could easily see myself wear every day to work or play.
The next designer to show off their collection was Rusly Tjohnardi. Looking over my notes from the show, I noticed that all I had written was “veils, lace, flappers, cream, Lady Gaga.” I can just imagine Mother Monster don the flamboyant headgear that came down the catwalk; and look at that makeup! Gold, glittery lips may be a tricky thing to pull off in everyday wear, but it was a sight I welcomed very much on the runway.
Last but not least was Mel Ahyar’s models and her collection of wildly varying textures and colours. I managed to interview the boisterous designer after the show to ask her what the common thread in her set was, so watch this space closely for what she had to say!
So, do you have a favourite collection from opening night? Audi Fashion Nation will be on until April 21st at Senayan City, so head down there for more fabulousness!