Biyan Wannatmadja is a Chinese-Indonesian fashion designer born in Surabaya. He graduated from Müller and Sohn Private Modeschule in Germany, followed by the London College of Fashion after studying professional pattern-making. It was there that Biyan connected with Stephen Worth and Michael Talboys who tutored him before he returned to Indonesia to launch his first line in 1984.
Biyan Wannatmadja’s work is infused with diverse traditional crafts that are inspired by his grandmother’s peranaken style. This cultural cross between Chinese and Indonesian fashion are characterized by their simple shapes and intricate ornamentation. A kebaya for instance, is a traditional Indonesian blouse-dress combination that originated from the court of the Indonesian Kingdom. Typically, kebaya are identified as sheer blouses that are made using lightweight fabric. These influences can be immediately seen in pieces like Biyan’s embellished organza coat dress, through the use of slightly sheer fabric and delicate beadwork. Similarly, the shape of his embroidered mosaic trapeze coat is a modern take on classic silhouettes from the Indian Ocean region. In addition, batik, ikat, weaving, hand-embroidery and appliqué are just a few techniques Biyan consistently utilizes throughout his designs that are reminiscent of his heritage.
His previous collection for Spring/Summer 2020, aptly titled The Wonder Garden, was filled with floral motifs, sequins and the layering of fabric. Variations of blush pink sat alongside green, orange, red and black. The silhouettes consisted of ankle length pants, puffy sleeves, pleated skirts and ever present a-line cuts.
In the ever quickening rhythm of life, we’re easily caught up in our routines without noticing that something’s missing. I make an effort to spend time savoring nature, and in between slowly walking through gardens. For instance, there’s a kind of peace that slowly speaks to me. Sitting down among the greenery, feels like a sanctuary of nature to me.Biyan Wanaatmadja
Summer trickles into his Fall/Winter 2020 collection, as romantic, sophisticated floral patterns can be found detailing each garment. As a staple, Biyan mixes a romantic flair and sense of adventure with traditional glamor and a dash of modernism in the making. His work draws upon the complexity of a woman – one moment she is firm, the next she is unafraid to show her delicate emotion. She is powerful, yet in the blink of an eye she becomes charming and playful.
Prairie dresses are detailed with victorian collars and frilled sleeves, while jackets and coats boast wool and jacquard appliqués. Mid-length dresses are created from a collage of fabric, and embroidered gowns are layered with tulle. Drawing upon inspiration from graphic art, Biyan’s silk print pieces are light and witty. Bright colors like poppy red and canary yellow are used alongside black, white and navy blue to create a delicate yet powerful balance.