BINUS International Office

BNSD x Harper’s Bazaar: Connecting the Past to the Present Day Through ‘The Passage of Srivijaya’

BINUS Northumbria School of Design (BNSD) is committed to supporting local values and heritage and promoting Indonesia’s natural resources and diversity. A showcase for this is through fashion collections and fashion shows.

This year BNSD together with Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia promoted the richness of South Sumatra through ‘BNSD X Harper’s Bazaar – Cultural Project: The Passage of Srivijaya’ virtual fashion show. The premiere screening was held on 20 December 2020, via the YouTube channels of BNSD and Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia.

The theme ‘The Passage of Srivijaya’ was inspired by South Sumatra’s traditional cultures, natural richness, and historical values. Furthermore, this show also told the story of the kingdom of Srivijaya, an empire based on the island of Sumatra which influenced much of Southeast Asia and was an important centre for the expansion of Buddhism from the 8th to the 12th century AD.

Styled by Michael Pondaag (Fashion Director at Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia), ‘The Passage of Srivijaya’ featured ten men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections by 17 young designers (12 students and 5 alumnae) from BINUS Northumbria School of Design. Those ten collections were:

  • APOENG by Michelle Angelica and Nabila Sudiro.
  • SANJO BIRO by Vincentia Winnie and Tasya Aravinda.
  • SAKATA by Elizabeth Aidy and Maria Viyona.
  • KALIS by Gabriella Angelique and Ester Utami.
  • HANYUTAN by Cynthia Halim and Nabila Kaulika.
  • MEMBARA by Nadya Sari and Gabriela Olivia.
  • CONFLATE by Katharina Rossa and Nadira Aridiyanti.
  • HYPHEN by Clara Pranata.
  • NUMEN by Audrey Jane.
  • TAKU by Diya Gityandramarsha.

The video shooting for the virtual fashion show was held on 27 to 28 November 2020 at BINUS fX Campus, Jakarta. The video was shot in multiple areas such as the lobby, sewing room, and elevator.

Conducting Research in the Midst of a Pandemic

Since 2012, BNSD has regularly conducted cultural projects which enable second-year students to explore Indonesia’s culture and heritage. The projects had been held in several areas such as Flores, Lasem, Makassar, Gorontalo, Lombok, Banjarmasin, and Padang.

Through these projects, the students have learned local wisdom and craftsmanship, and taken the opportunity to cast a global perspective on contemporary designs. The experience also taught them how to solve the design problem, bringing the heritage into a new, modern dimension.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic constricted the BNSD students’ ability to conduct research directed at the area of origin of the chosen culture. Most research and tutoring activities were held online. The students who took part in the fashion show needed to be more independent in developing their creations.

Fortunately, the students still got an opportunity to visit Cita Tenun Indonesia (CTI) where they observed and researched the fabric, obtained valuable information, and purchased the South Sumatran traditional fabric – the songket.

Ratna Dewi Paramita, Head of the Fashion Program at BNSD, spoke of her admiration for the students’ work. “I’m amazed the students could produce the final results in accordance with what they had been planning before, despite all the restrictions,” she said.

BNSD X Harper’s Bazaar: The First Collaboration between Educational Institution and Media

Ratna said that ‘BNSD X Harper’s Bazaar – Cultural Project: The Passage of Srivijaya’ was the first fashion show that was the result of a collaboration between an educational institution and media.

This collaboration aimed to build synergy with fashion media and promote young talents in the industry. This project with Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia could enrich the students’ experience of working with reputable fashion media, allowing them to obtain real working experience with experts from the industry.

“I hope this collaboration will be a sustainable project. Working with senior stylists and editors from Harper’s Bazaar Indonesia was a priceless experience for the students because they could learn directly from experts and expand their networking in the industry,” Ratna concluded.