DRAMA KING

Rinaldy A. Yunardi

Prestige Indonesia - - Contents -

IN FE­BRU­ARY, Katy Perry re­leased the mu­sic video for Chained to the Rhythm, lead sin­gle to her fifth al­bum Wit­ness. While the world was moved by the po­lit­i­cal sub­text of the song, the big re­lease sig­ni­fied a new mile­stone for Rinaldy A Yunardi.

The video, which gar­nered close to 350 mil­lion views on Youtube, fea­tures Rinaldy’s cus­tom shoes for Perry. The de­signer cre­ated a pair of trans­par­ent an­kle boots, with sil­ver ac­cents, for the pop su­per­star. In the video, Perry wears them with a struc­tural white dress that com­ple­ments her cot­ton candy-coloured bob.

Rinaldy had only 11 days to de­sign the shoes, and three to have them pro­duced. The de­signer en­thuses that hav­ing his de­sign worn by Perry is “one of the big­gest achieve­ments in my ca­reer”. His ca­reer has spanned 21 years, start­ing from his au­to­di­dact days af­ter grad­u­at­ing from high school.

“I chose not to go to col­lege. I was work­ing a white-col­lar job af­ter grad­u­a­tion, but in my spare time I started learn­ing to make ac­ces­sories. Back then, there was no Google or Youtube tu­to­ri­als. I only had cut­tings from fash­ion mag­a­zines as my guide­line,” Rinaldy says.

He started ex­per­i­ment­ing on a sim­ple tiara with ba­sic ma­te­ri­als – acrylic, wire, paint, glue, crys­tal, bead, nee­dle and thread. A de­ter­mined per­son­al­ity, Rinaldy suc­cess­fully made his first tiara af­ter a few failed at­tempts.

“I never dreamed to of be­ing a de­signer, but I had a vi­sion of what I wanted to cre­ate. My vi­sion guided me to be where I am to­day,” he says.

Perry is not the only A-lister who has been seen in Rinaldy’s cre­ations. Nicki Mi­naj wears his caged mask in her mu­sic video, No Frauds. The gold show­piece re­ceived an over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive re­sponse, more­over, af­ter the singer posted it on her In­sta­gram page. Be­sides, Zoe Sal­dana wears Rinaldy’s one of stat­uesque head­pieces in her cover shoot for Cal­i­for­nia’s C Mag­a­zine. How­ever, the de­signer stays hum­ble.

“I think head­pieces are such a state­ment, ones that are worn at shows and style shoots. Since they are usu­ally worn by pub­lic fig­ures, they are eas­ier to get me­dia buzz. The buzz helps me get more cus­tomers,” Rinaldy says.

The de­signer adds that his in­ter­na­tional ven­tures would not have hap­pened if it were not for his agent, who hap­pens to be a close friend, Faye Liu. Through her Hong Kong-based brand and im­age agency, The Clique, Liu has linked Rinaldy with in­ter­na­tional stars and their fash­ion teams.

“It all started when Faye asked me in a ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion of my next step as a de­signer,” Rinaldy rem­i­nisces. “I told her it would be nice to have in­ter­na­tional stars wear­ing my de­signs. At first, I re­ally wanted Aaron Kwok to wear my de­signs, be­cause I have al­ways been a big fan. It came true, and the feel­ing I had was just price­less. From then, we ap­proached more stars, and thank­fully, the re­sponse has been great.”

Rinaldy has 40 peo­ple in his team, most work­ing in his work­shop and some oth­ers han­dling ad­min­is­tra­tive work. Sur­pris­ingly, none of his em­ploy­ees were trained crafts­men when they first joined. “I trained them all from zero. I want them to re­ally un­der­stand my brand iden­tity. If I hired pro­fes­sional crafts­men, they might have al­ready de­vel­oped a spe­cific sense of taste that it might be hard to shape them,” Rinaldy, who al­ways dresses in all-black, rea­sons. “The in­ten­sive train­ing also acts as a se­lec­tion process. Those with per­se­ver­ance and a good work ethic will stay on.”

Re­sults of the in­ten­sive train­ing can be seen at his North Jakarta ate­lier. The Goth-style in­te­rior that wel­comes guests when they en­ter is filled with racks and racks of ex­trav­a­gant head­pieces, body ac­ces­sories and jew­ellery that Rinaldy’s team has pro­duced. It is al­most like go­ing into a boudoir filled with glam­orous guises that could trans­form just about any look.

Such an ex­ten­sive port­fo­lio has been built from

the many cus­tomers Rinaldy has gained over years, as well as the long list of fash­ion shows he has sup­ported. As an ac­ces­sories de­signer, Rinaldy re­alises that his cre­ations are meant to com­ple­ment out­fits. Hence, his will­ing­ness to sup­port fash­ion de­sign­ers, namely Biyan, Didi Budiardjo, Se­bas­tian Gunawan, Adrian Gan and Era Soekamto. For their an­nual fash­ion shows, Rinaldy has cus­tom-made head­pieces and ac­ces­sories.

“I’m al­ways happy to sup­port my de­signer friends. It feels great to see how my cre­ations com­ple­ment their cre­ations. Also, work­ing with them chal­lenges me as a de­signer. On one hand, I have to fol­low an­other de­signer’s ide­ol­ogy, on the other hand my skills are stretched be­cause there are al­ways dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments for each col­lec­tion, each show. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me learn­ing,” Rinaldy says.

De­cem­ber 13 is the date of Rinaldy’s up­com­ing solo show. To take place at the ball­room of RitzCarl­ton Jakarta Pa­cific Place, it will be his first in 15 years. “I have the big idea in my mind. But I have had lit­tle time to work on it,” Rinaldy grins. “So many projects go­ing on at the mo­ment that I barely have time to work on my own show.”

Asked about his long-term dreams, Rinaldy says that one of them is open­ing a mu­seum that doc­u­ments In­done­sian fash­ion his­tory. “Our in­dus­try has gone quite a long way. In the nineties, cus­tomers wouldn’t be proud if they were wear­ing In­done­sian de­sign­ers. What was con­sid­ered cool was wear­ing in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers. But these days, In­done­sian de­sign­ers have slowly got­ten the recog­ni­tion they de­serve. They con­tinue grow­ing, and their cus­tomers have a new­found ap­pre­ci­a­tion for them,” Rinaldy says. “I think such a rich his­tory de­serves to be told and pre­served. Oth­er­wise, the younger gen­er­a­tions would be clue­less about it.”

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