New designs from Java strutted down the catwalk on September 10, kicking off this year’s Performing Indonesia festival and its theme of Islamic Intersections. Held at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design, the fashion show featured fresh garments for Muslim women created by Meeta Fauzen and Helen Dewi Krana, two leading designers from Indonesia. Fauzen took the time to answer a few questions about her creations.
Bento: Why have you been inspired to design for Muslim women?
Meeta Fauzen: After returning from the hajj, I started to wear Muslim dress. I wanted to create Muslim wear that fits my style. I learned how to design Muslim women’s fashion to give people more choices.
B: How would you describe your design aesthetic or approach?
MF: My design aesthetic is simple and elegant, to make it easy for Muslim women. And I mix my designs with Indonesian traditional fabrics such as batik and tenun.
B: How have your designs been received at home and abroad?
MF: In Indonesia, I have several customers in my hometown, Bandung, and in other cities such as Bogor, Jakarta, Surabaya, and Batam. And from abroad, I have also some clients in countries where I’ve done my show, such as Perth, Kuala Lumpur, the United States, and eastern Europe, although it’s not a big number yet.
There were big numbers for the show on September 10: a capacity crowd of two hundred guests filled the Corcoran Gallery atrium. The runway presentation was preceded by a lecture and discussion with anthropologist Carla Jones of the University of Colorado, as well as a Q&A with the designers.
The Performing Indonesia festival is made possible through a partnership with the Embassy of Indonesia, and this year is held in cooperation with George Washington University. See what’s in store.