Drama in Dressing

Drawing from the inspiration of the natural world, Biyan Wanaatmadja infuses his work with a love of the flora and fauna from his beloved Indonesia.

A melding of western aesthetics and carefully crafted eastern textiles, Biyan’s works combine style and craft in unexpected ways. Of particular interest are his often maximal jackets and coats. Exuberantly embellished, embroidered, and beaded, each seems to be a celebration of the art of dressing.

His most subtle piece is the Kalepia jacket, wherein Biyan lets black and white embroidery flourish across taupe silk.

Symmetry and asymmetry are in tension here – Biyan references Javanese ceremonial dress in the reflectional pattern, but tweaks it with subtle irregularities, breathing life into the composition.

His Rendara style, a beaded and sequined emerald coat, is a panache of creativity. Glitter, gold and green meld together into a piece equal parts charisma and poise. The variety of embroidery across this piece plays with the viewer’s depth of field – a nod to Biyan’s penchant for costumery.

Like an opera set upon a stage, some of the elements seem closer, while others seem farther away and out of focus. It is the sense of peeking into a private garden and watching an enticing natural tale unfold.

A reflection of the taupe piece, Biyan also presents his Kalepia jacket in midnight blue. The reflectional symmetry falls away here, giving way to a design rich in mystery.

As the wearer shifts their body, light catches upon the luster of the silk, revealing intricate hand-embroidery. Across the arms floats a motif of the Javan Hawk-Eagle, a symbol of pride for the Indonesian people.

Biyan crafts these pieces, and the remainder of his collection, in a kaleidoscope of silk. At home over a pair of black pants and a simple top – or pushed to their limits with an equally eye-catching under-piece – these jackets are intended to make the wearer feel as exquisite as they look.

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