FIDé Fashion Weeks 2013: Asian Couture (Indonesia) – Sebastian Gunawan


It was another Asian couture night where I get to witness the boldest work of art by three talented Asian couturiers – Lie Sang Bong, Sebastian Gunawan and Yumi Katsura. And tonight’s show was simply stunning with lots of sparkles, glitters and fairytale-like princess cupcakes dresses that puts the audience into another realm of fantasy. Sometimes, you don’t have to wear beautiful clothes to make yourself feel happy. You also gain happiness and joy just simply by looking at gorgeous people donned in beautiful dresses and accessories. And to do so, grab a seat and enjoy a fashion show. And my seat was a grand one with no boundaries, just a drawn-out box on the ground with countless camera tripod stands right behind me. It can be a little stifling with photographers nudging each other to capture that perfect lighting and angle. For someone who practically knows nuts about photography except to press the shutter button, all those commotion and conversations using photography items was an exhilarating ride for me. 


I remembered clearly that my camera wasn’t functioning properly. In the sense that, the lens wasn’t able to focus automatically and no matter how hard I press the shutter button, the camera just didn’t click to snap a picture. I was a little flustered as I came early to grab the best spot for a shoot and now to only realise that it’s quite pointless of me to be seated in the middle with a dysfunctional camera. But thank goodness, after seeking help from other professional photographers, I learnt that the manual focus was still working. That would mean that I need to manually adjust the focal length til the image is sharp before pressing the shutter button. And it’s no easy feat for me to adjust the focus manually as the fashion show is dynamic, with lots of movements as the model struts down the runway. So I count myself lucky whenever I manage to capture a sharp and focused shot. It’s downright challenging for me but it has certainly improved the dexterity of my hands and coordination. For once, I wasn’t in my usual automated mode of taking photographs but I’m actually communicating with my camera with heightened level of alertness. Yes, I needed to rack my brains – hard. 


I was satisfied with the pictures and I couldn’t be more grateful to be there tonight to watch Sebastian Gunawan’s fashion showcase where he presented his 2014 Modmuse collection to the eager crowd who specially attended his fashion show. There’s a great anticipation in the air and I couldn’t help to think that there must be something special about this Indonesian couture-designer, Sebastian Gunawan.

Be amused with his glamorous beaded-outfits that could only be described with one word – elegance. However, I was bemused by the two light feathery feelers attached to a headband worn by the models. Most of us would have associate this with insects and nature. So, I really thought that there was some sort of a green message behind Sebastian Gunawan’s collection.
Well, I couldn’t quite figure out how ‘insect’ headband is related to the feminine couture dresses after reading more about Sebastian Gunawan’s inspiration for Modmuse online.
Born in Jakarta, Sebastian Gunawan is a well-known designer where most Indonesians would be proud of to have such a successful fashion designer brought up right at their home grounds. Sebastian was said to know intuitively how a woman should be dressed to look good. His natural flair for fashion and beauty could be attributed to influence of his mother who knew how to dress well. And with that spark of interest in fashion, it had brought him to Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles where he pursued a degree in fashion design. From there, he just blossoms and achieve even greater successes when he launched his own fashion line, Sebastian Gunawan in 1993 and also came in first for the International Apparel Federation World Young Designer Award 2004 held in Barcelona, Spain. I believe that his list of accolades will not just stop here. And I’ve no doubt about why he was named as the ‘sultan of glamour’ by Dewi, a famous fashion and lifestyle magazine in Indonesia.

There were Indonesian cultural influence in his designs where I felt that the flower patterns on the royal blue fabric resembled floral art on traditional batik pieces. Perhaps it’s coincidental but the subtle elements of Malay batik adds a unique local flavour to Sebastian Gunawan’s collection.


The shimmery gold collection was largely inspired by the 50’s 

That’s a lot of sequins,beads and semi-precious stones used to weave up a beautiful embroidery by hand. And that’s a trademark for Sebastian Gunawan’s design.

The silver collection – that spells more of mid-night elegance.



I was actually quite surprise by Sebastian Gunawan’s good looks – for a man who looks this good at 46 is simply quite jaw-dropping. A great show that ended with a friendly and humble greeting from Sebastian Gunawan himself. 

Next up – Yumi Katsura


( Photos by Deenise Glitz. All images are unedited.)

Video by FIDé Fashion Weeks

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