AKSU: Incorporating Elaborate Details of Traditional Cultures with Innovative Contemporary Elements

Two Fashion Management alumnae from BINUS Northumbria School of Design (BNSD), Nadira Alisha Suarga and Arintha Vysistha, got a precious opportunity to showcase their creations, AKSU, at 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 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, Nadira and Arintha along with two BNSD students, Cynthia Halim and Nabila Kaulika, presented their brands 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.

Incorporating Traditional Cultures and Contemporary Elements into Versatile Ready-to-Wear Fashion Collections

The fashion brand by Nadira and Arintha, 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” by BNSD at Jakarta Fashion Week 2017, also strives to strengthen the idea of slow-fashion and empower the Indonesian local creative industry.

Nadira explained that their appearance at Paris Fashion Week 2020 was started from an approach by Fashion Division Asia.Europe through AKSU’s Instagram, which was followed by a meeting with Khaled Khoualfi, the CEO of Fashion Division Asia.Europe.

Fashion Division Asia.Europe, Nadira continued, was interested in AKSU because she and Arintha always try to maintain their characters. “We always strive to maintain the originality, uniqueness of AKSU’s designs that are also presenting the traditional cultures of Indonesia,” Nadira said.

And after sending their brand profile and portfolio, as well as undergoing the selection process, they were chosen as two of 50 designers from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore to showcase their collections in Paris Fashion Week.

The Launching of PATEH at Paris Fashion Week 2020

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 also incorporated various Balinese cultural elements in its collection. One of these elements is “Perang Pandan”, a Balinese tradition of ritual combat with clubs made of pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius) that tells a story about healing, peace, and purity. Another element that is incorporated into this collection is a traditional weaving technique called “Geringsingan” which accentuates symmetry and strength.

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.

The Resolutions and Plans for the Future

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 through various strategies.

Moreover, they also want to try a new atmosphere other than just staying in Jakarta. They plan to explore Denpasar in the near future.

In the end, Nadira delivered a message to anyone, especially the future fashion designers who aim to enter the international stages. “Keep trying. Don’t be afraid to step up and take any opportunities. And also, stay true to yourself,” she concluded.


AKSU on Instagram: @a.ks.u