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Retrotopia: Arva's 16th Annual Fashion Show
Thursday, November 17, 2011, 9:25 PM

Forgive me for being terribly late in posting this. But it would be even more terrible if I had to forget telling you about the following. Fashion is Surabaya has been growing, one of it because of the fashion schools here like Arva. Arva held a Junior Fashion Design Competition, which I joined.  In the competition, I had to design a costume for the army moving people of the Earth to the second Earth. Think of it as kind of a "Futuristic Army" concept. This theme evolves around self defense, meaning some weapons would be part of the accessories and anything just crazy over the top futuristic. Earlier in February-March this year, the selection process was already done and I was more than happy to know that I was selected as one of the semi-finalists of 20 high school participants, then as one of the finalists of 10. I remember the moment I got the letter from Arva, the excitement of tearing of the envelope slowly,  and the even bigger excitement when I read my name in top 10 list. On top of that, the finalists were asked to showcase their design during Arva's Annual Fashion Show.

The journey wasn't as smooth and sweet as it seems. I decided to make my own design come true instead of giving it to Arva's seamstresses. I wanted to be able to see my hard work on that catwalk. Luckily my sewing teacher was there to help me select the materials and make my design come true. It was sure a tiring process, where I had to go back and forth to hardware stores, which were a major part of my design. On the last night I still worked on it until up in the morning. Yes it was pressuring to finish up my creation with a tight deadline, but at the same time I enjoyed it. I've learned a lot also, as I went to places I would never go, and learned some types of hardware materials. To get a full understanding of your design and concept, some thorough research would be necessary. For example, I had to know what type of nuts and bolts to use, so that the costume wouldn't be too heavy, and of course, wearable.

October 22 came. It was the day of the Fashion Show, where Arva's graduates and students also showcased their work. The Fashion Design graduates each had their own themes in their collection. Some of the themes were "Iconography", "Perfect Decay", and "Retrofuture". Overall, the show was an eye candy, having a mixture of futuristic, girly, fun, simple, cultural etc designs. 

Who ever thought of making those paper planes you make during class as a head piece?

I've never been a fan of "boat shoes", where the platform at the back and at the front are similar in height. But, these ones are just awesome.

I love the mix of cultural elements of Indonesia's agriculurists' hat with modern and classy clothing.

Another pair of futuristic shoes. Taking the designs and purposes of shoes to the next level.

One of the Junior Fashion Design Competition Finalists.
Another finalist. 
 Here it is! My Napoleon Bonaprte piece! The strips encircling the legs are plastic used to tighten cables. The gold ornaments on the bodysuit are rings (as in hardware), bolts, and nuts. I choose the lightest I could find; however, I still ofcourse couldn't escape from creating wight-y outfit.  Underneath the plastic strips are my Bershka leather leggings. My first design actually used gold leggings with black plastic strips, but I thought it would be gaudy, at the same time thought maybe it would be futuristic and exciting. Your thoughts?

Moving on to the finger accessories, they are made from...okay, I don't know the English term for it, but it's basically a sheet of wire. Then it was cut into small rectangular strips and shaped into a cone according to the finger size. On the tips of it are small rings, nuts, and bolts gathered by wires. They would get stuck with each other. I remember panicking fixing it, just when the model needed to go on stage. For the accessory on the arm, it's made from hard plastic and the bottom part was grommet-ed.

It was quite complicated to put on the strips into the model, as the plastic would tangle and entwine with each other, not to mention the backstage rush of the need to be quick in dressing the model. I loved the backstage atmosphere, so fast, yet exciting. The models were rushing around getting dressed, hectic, hectic....  


Photography: Evelyn Soetanto

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