The Radiance Postcard: Biyan’s Love Letter to His 30 Years in Fashion

When I first found out in December 2012 that that Net-A-Porter finally started stocking items crafted from the imagination of the indefatigable Biyan Wanaatmadja, I squealed out of sheer excitement. Almost immediately, small pockets of very dedicated new fans started to quietly rally around the work of the German-educated designer, who they lauded for his delicate and ornately embellished outfits–and just in time too, as Biyan recently celebrated his thirty years as a venerated professional in the fashion industry through The Radiance Postcard, a¬†characteristically artful, no-holds-barred show at Hotel Mulia.

The bespectacled designer flanked by Nadya Hutagalung and a representative of the Indonesia Heart Foundation.

At the press conference, he expressed his gratefulness for having had the opportunity to work so long for an art form in an industry he loved so much. Humble and speaking in a hushed volume, he thanked members of the media and legendary beauty Pond’s for continuously supporting him throughout the years. “I want to continue celebrating the beauty of Indonesian women,” he smiles.

Although his items are already stocked on the racks of celebrated department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Club 21, and Saks Fifth Avenue Dubai, their availability on Net-A-Porter exposes Biyan’s clothing to an entirely new internet-savvy market. When asked if he alters his designs to suit the needs of these ever-growing foreign interests and markets, he shakes his head. “I make no changes. The only change is that I have to work harder,” he replies with a chuckle. Another reporter asks how he keep things fresh and whether his inspiration has started to want after thirty years of creating. He mulls it over for a while before answering, “I try to understand the customer and imagine myself in the customer’s shoes. I imagine myself as the woman I want to dress.” He then turns to muse and MC, Nadya Hutagalung, before jokingly adding, “I’ve always wanted to be a beautiful woman, so I just imagine myself as Nadya.”

The show took place at Hotel Mulia’s Grand Ballroom, and the room was packed to the rafters with Jakarta’s fashion glitterati. Nadya was an absolute vision and took center stage in a characteristically Biyan gown: airy, exquisite, dreamlike.

The Radiance Postcard collection was an exemplar sampling of Biyan’s thirty-year span in the industry. Everything he is famous for was laid out on the table in the usual quietly grandiose manner: suspended over the rafters and looming over the catwalk T were two massive wooden eagles. The dark wooden floor paneling added to the romantic, gothic mood of the evening.