COVER STORY

Rosalindynata Gu­nawan

Prestige Indonesia - - Contents - PHO­TOG­RA­PHY DENNY TJAN STYLING PE­TER ZEWET

THIS IS A LOve story. It in­volves stolen glances be­tween two strangers, and their leav­ing the restau­rant at the end of the evening with­out know­ing each other’s names or even hav­ing had any con­ver­sa­tion with each other. But the flame has been lit. The ques­tion is, will it have happy end­ing?

The tale that Pres­tige is about to tell is surely a happy one. But what makes a love story in­trigu­ing is never what hap­pens at the end of the road, but the jour­ney to­wards it. It’s the jour­ney of two in­di­vid­u­als who find each other and then choose to stick to­gether un­til they reach the fin­ish line.

This is the story of how Rosalindynata Gu­nawan, or as her friends know her, Ling Ling (her Chi­nese name is Wen Yu Ling) met a “cute stranger” named Ad­hika Nuraga (Aga) Bakrie, the el­dest son of Nir­wan Bakrie and a mem­ber of the third-gen­er­a­tion lead­er­ship team at Bakrie & Broth­ers.

The low-pro­file, yet ad­ven­tur­ous, pair will tie the knot on Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 9 in the Grand Ball­room of Ho­tel Mu­lia Se­nayan, fol­lowed by a re­cep­tion two days later for about 1,500 guests.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ling Ling is the tal­ented de­signer be­hind the chil­dren’s wear line Bub­ble Girl, which was launched by her un­cle, the es­teemed cou­turier Se­bas­tian Gu­nawan. She stud­ied Fash­ion De­sign at Royal Mel­bourne In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy (RMIT), grad­u­at­ing with an hon­ours de­gree. She took up her role as Head De­signer of Bub­ble Girl in 2013. Ling Ling is also an art lover. She de­vel­oped InHype, a wear­able art project, which was show­cased at Cipu­tra Art­preneur in 2016.

More re­cently, Ling Ling has dis­cov­ered an­other pas­sion, ed­u­ca­tion, which she plans to con­tinue pur­su­ing in the fu­ture. “Three years ago, a cou­ple of friends and I started do­ing free classes for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren at Ta­man Men­teng,” she says. “We teach the stu­dents English, read­ing and draw­ing. Teaching is fun and I would love to do it more of­ten.” Other than that, Ling Ling is a much-loved per­son­al­ity in Jakarta’s style scene. She fre­quently ap­pears in glossy fash­ion mag­a­zines.

“I re­mem­ber think­ing that he was cute,” re­calls Ling Ling of the first time she saw Aga in March 2013. The con­ver­sa­tion with Pres­tige takes place the day be­fore she is due to go off on a bach­e­lorette trip that will in­clude Hong Kong and Tokyo.

“I was with some friends for din­ner at Union in Plaza Se­nayan. He sat at one end of the ta­ble and I was at the end. I didn’t know him at all, not even his name. Our friends didn’t even in­tro­duce us. But our mu­tual friends were dat­ing and we would all meet up once a week. But it wasn’t un­til af­ter two months that Aga asked me for my phone num­ber. That’s his per­son­al­ity. He’s not into bold moves. Lit­tle did I know, how­ever, that dur­ing all this time he was ask­ing our friends to make sure I was in­vited to ev­ery one of our ren­dezvous!”

As they got to know each other bet­ter, Ling Ling and Aga found they had a lot of com­mon in­ter­ests, such as div­ing, is­land-hop­ping and watch­ing movies. “We are both a big fan of zom­bie films. Our first movie date was watch­ing Quar­an­tine on DVD,” she laughs.

They spent a lot of time to­gether. But like many 21st-cen­tury cou­ples, they never de­scribed them­selves one. “Then one day, an­other guy asked me for a date,” says Ling Ling. “I felt ob­li­gated to ask Aga for per­mis­sion. I said to him, ‘Are we of­fi­cially a cou­ple now? Be­cause if we aren’t, I’ll prob­a­bly go on a date with this guy.’ And he replied, ‘Are we not?’ That was how our jour­ney as an of­fi­cial cou­ple started. It was kind of cute, though. I felt like a high-schooler!”

Ling Ling de­scribes Aga and her­self as “one of those bor­ing cou­ples who like be­ing to­gether.” Nei­ther of them much en­joys go­ing to par­ties. They pre­fer to be ac­tive in their own world. “We are an ad­ven­tur­ous cou­ple in many ways,” says Ling Ling. We go div­ing in Thou­sand Is­lands, Gili Is­lands, Bali and Labuan Bajo. We also love do­ing road trips. Last year, we did a 12-hour trip from Geneva to Zurich, and it was such a blast. Just the two of us in the car, no itin­er­ary. We let Yelp guide us.”

Over a pe­riod of al­most five years, they be­come an in­sep­a­ra­ble

“I take my re­la­tion­ship as a part­ner­ship, not as the other per­son defin­ing who I am. It’s an equal part­ner­ship”

cou­ple. As with any re­la­tion­ships, they have had their highs and the lows. But they have never had a se­ri­ous breakup. “We ac­tu­ally did for like three days,” she laughs. “I think this is be­cause we’re both in­de­pen­dent peo­ple. We love to work and travel, but deep in­side we can’t live with­out each other. At the same time we give each other a lot of space. Be­cause I love to do my own thing and I have my own life. I take my re­la­tion­ship as a part­ner­ship, not as the other per­son defin­ing who I am. It’s an equal part­ner­ship.”

Ling Ling feels that this is why their re­la­tion­ship has lasted for five years and has even­tu­ally led them to get­ting mar­ried. A five-year en­gage­ment might seem un­usual for to­day’s fast-mov­ing so­cial­me­dia era. “Yes, it is a long time, I sup­pose. But I don’t feel it that way,” she laughs. “To be hon­est, it was our par­ents who brought up the wed­ding topic. It is nat­u­ral for par­ents to ask their chil­dren to find the one and set­tle down. Per­son­ally, we are keep­ing it all very low-key. At first, we didn’t want an en­gage­ment party or a re­cep­tion. We didn’t even have a pre-wed­ding photo shoot. But then we had to com­pro­mise with our fam­i­lies, so we agreed to have a re­cep­tion and all. ”

Ling Ling and Aga got en­gaged dur­ing h an in­ti­mate event on Novem­ber 5 at Bi­masena at The Dhar­mawangsa ho­tel in south Jakarta. The idea of the event was a meet­ing of two cul­tures: Chi­nese and Me­layu. Ling Ling looked stun­ning in one of Se­bas­tian Gu­nawan’s red cheongsam dresses. The rest of the ladies in her fam­ily and the brides­maids wore cheongsams or chang­shans.

Bakrie’s fam­ily mem­bers wore batik and baju ku­rung with songket. The high­light was when Aga got down on one knee and of­fered Ling Ling a heart-shaped ring. “That was the big­gest grand ges­ture he has had done in the last five years,” Ling Ling grins. “I am a hope­less ro­man­tic, a qual­ity I got from my fa­ther. Aga is 180 de­grees dif­fer­ent. He’s just so calm and cool. I ex­press my af­fec­tion with words and hugs, while he’s more into small ges­tures. So when he did that, I was com­pletely sur­prised, and even the whole fam­ily as well.”

How did the pro­posal din­ner go? “Be­lieve or not, he pro­posed ex­actly at our en­gage­ment event,” laughs Ling Ling. “So, sorry, I can’t give you a ro­man­tic head-over-heels pro­posal din­ner story.”

Their wed­ding re­cep­tion will be dec­o­rated in Lam­pung tra­di­tion with red and gold dom­i­nat­ing the colour scheme. For the akad nikah, Ling Ling will be in a white ke­baya. She will don a blue cheongsam for the tea pai. All dresses will be by Un­cle Se­bas­tian, nat­u­rally. “I can’t tell you he de­tails now, but the af­ter party and en­ter­tain­ment will be awe­some,” she prom­ises. The buzz of all the events can be found at hash­tag #finAling on In­sta­gram.

“Love can be frag­ile,” Ling Ling con­tin­ues. “If you just slightly ig­nore it then it could be­come noth­ing. It’s about com­pro­mise and com­mit­ment. It’s when you stand by each other’s side, no mat­ter what. That’s what I ad­mire the most about Aga. He has stood by my side for all these years.

“Other than that, he has great pa­tience. He’s very pos­i­tive and kind-hearted. Yes, I am ex­cited about the wed­ding and all, but it’s merely a for­mal­ity. I’m more ex­cited about the fact that I will build a fam­ily with him. He’s very ex­cited as well, es­pe­cially about how many chil­dren we’re go­ing to have. I’m for­tu­nate enough to marry some­one that I love. Some peo­ple don’t have that priv­i­lege.”

The cou­ple will spend their hon­ey­moon in Scan­di­navia and, of course, it will in­volve road trips. “I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing the North­ern Lights,” says Ling Ling. “This has been on my bucket list for a long time. We like to get out and about. We’re not the type of cou­ple who like to spend their days sit­ting in five-star re­sorts.”

At the end of our con­ver­sa­tion, Ling Ling takes a phone call. It sounds like she’s chat­ting with one of her best friends. “That was Aga,” she says af­ter hang­ing up. “He didn’t know that we’re do­ing an in­ter­view to­day and that we’re talk­ing about him and how great he is. That doesn’t sound like lovers, right?” She laughs, and some­how shows how love can be found in many lit­tle things.

DRESS LAN­VIN JEWELLERY CARTIER

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