Showcasing the Contemporary Form of Indonesian Traditional Cultures in Paris Fashion Week 2020

Indonesia undeniably owns rich arts and cultures from Sabang to Merauke – the ancestral cultures that were passed down from generation to generation. This richness, along with the natural beauty of Indonesia, is what BINUS Northumbria School of Design (BNSD) strives to support and promote to the international stage continuously.

This year, four students and alumnae from the Fashion Management program, Cynthia Halim, Nabila Kaulika, Nadira Alisha Suarga, and Arintha Vysistha, showcased their fashion brands – HANYUTAN and AKSU – in Paris Fashion Week 2020. Paris Fashion Week is an international fashion event that has a goal to show the world and fashion industry what’s in the season and what is definitely out. Held annually, Paris Fashion Week is divided into three categories: Men’s Fashion, Haute Couture, and Prêt-à-Porter.

Organized by Fashion Division and sponsored by SAINT HARS, the four students and alumnae presented their brands – HANYUTAN and AKSU – on Saturday, 3 October 2020, at Château de Bourron, France. Here, they showcased their contemporary ready-to-wear collections that were inspired by Lasem, Minangkabau, and Balinese cultures.

HANYUTAN, by Cynthia Halim and Nabila Kaulika, is a brand inspired by the human ego that has the ability to create a clash between cultures. HANYUTAN comes from the word ‘hanyut’. The word itself has several meanings, one of which is: ‘terbawa oleh arus’ (carried by a stream). The stream of the human ego is sometimes so powerful that it is able to create a wave of hatred shattering everything around it.

The aim of this collection is to promote the idea of peace and the freedom of expression through the influence of punk culture. The purpose is to show that we can inherit and adapt both cultures without war, violence, or discrimination.

The fashion brand by Nadira Alisha Suarga and Arintha Vysistha, AKSU, represents the blend of contemporary elements and the deep-rooted original Indonesian cultures. Designed to convey true identity and personal expression, AKSU consistently incorporates handmade details and innovation while preserving the versatility in each of its collections. AKSU, which was previously showcased in “HIKAYAT: Tales of Minang” at Jakarta Fashion Week 2017, also strives to strengthen the idea of slow-fashion and empower the Indonesian local creative industry.

Furthermore, in the Paris Fashion Week 2020, AKSU also launched its latest collection, PATEH. PATEH – a name that was derived from the Balinese language which means “similar” – values the balance in Balinese society. This value of balance is what makes Balinese people cherish the differences as well as uphold equality and respect among all living beings.

PATEH shows this value through its design and silhouette that incorporate various strings, knots, and twists. This fashion collection also uses calm yet striking colors that represent Bali and its unique characteristics.

Cynthia said that the opportunity to showcase HANYUTAN in an international stage like Paris Fashion Week is a dream come true for her. “I’m surprised, proud, feeling disbelief, and extremely happy for this opportunity. To be able to showcase our very first ready-to-wear collection in Paris Fashion Week definitely is a great achievement,” Cynthia said.

Meanwhile, Nadira said that she and Arintha don’t want this achievement to be the end of the line for them. They want to keep working hard and try to further promote Indonesian cultures though various strategies.

“Moreover, we also want to try a new atmosphere other than just staying here in Jakarta. We plan to explore Denpasar in the near future,” she said.


HANYUTAN on Instagram: @_hanyutan

AKSU on Instagram: @a.ks.u

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