Mel Ahyar on Her Oscar Worthy Fashion Nation Collection

Indonesian designer, Mel Ahyar,  took part in Audi Fashion Nation Opening Night, and she did not hold anything back in a collection that consisted entirely of dresses. As I watched her collection go down the runway, I had a hard time trying to figure out the common theme that held them together: there was no single print, colour scheme, or fabric that repeated itself often enough to suggest a common thread, and I was very interested to learn what Mel had to say about it. After the show, I wrested her away from other curious reporters and managed to interview her for a few short minutes. I found her to be very pleasant, patiently answering every query in my line of rapid-fire questioning assault.

The designer getting swarmed by journalists!

It turns out that Mel was inspired to put together a collection inspired by movies nominated at the 2012 Academy Awards. Now everything made sense! The variation in materials and silhouettes was reflective of the varying genres of films that received nominations at the Oscars. What resulted was an eclectic collections that saw feathers and silks share a runway with beads and metals. There were structured gowns made out of duchess satin…

…ethereal pieces that looked as if they just stepped off the set of The Great Gatsby

…and body-hugging numbers that looked as if they had been painted on the models.

But the outfits that caused the most buzz among the audience were these two:

When I asked Mel for the inspiration behind the veiled feathery pink number (made out of laser-cut 3D), she told me that it was inspired by 2012 Academy Award Best Picture winner Argo, which is set during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. She says that clashing interpretations of Islam and unification of state and religion in the Iranian government have always made for a sensitive issue, and she wanted to contrast that by making a dress that had light, feminine elements to it.

Mel’s collection turned out to be a runaway success, receiving the most energetic applause from the crowd that evening. I’m looking forward to see where else Mel will turn to for inspiration in the future! What would you like to see her emulate on the catwalk?