In A Gender-Neutral World, Melda Auditia Proposes To Us — Bloom


Reading time : 4 minutes

Photographs by Thomas Sito
Words by Onin Lorente

Published on May 20, 2021

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The Tokyo-based Indonesian designer talks about her graduation collection.

Hard hebel blocks juxtaposing fine florals are props in the set. Against those, models pose poetically. They don designs with intricate details — bloomers hem, side gathers, knit trimmings and whatnots. The clothes are not just purely functional pieces of garments, but they are exploration of emotions, of stories — femininity amongst all of us — regardless of gender. Melda Auditia proposes to us, Bloom, her graduation collection.

The beautiful craftsmanship in the collection traces back from the culture of the designer’s home country, Indonesia, where at an early age she learned to appreciate the value and process of artistry. That same interest paved the way for Auditia to pursue fashion design at Bunka Fashion College. 

“With this love for intricate craftsmanship, I often find myself exploring techniques from different traditional arts and incorporate them into my work, specifically in textile manipulation and pattern-making.” 

Auditia practised those skills to create Bloom. Using flowers as a motif, she painstakingly explored different techniques to actualise the idea. Hand painted and silk screen textiles are sewn and attached to create floral shapes. Fabrics are manipulated to create a petal-like form. The volume and shapes in the collection range from simple to ostentatious, presented sequentially. Similarly, the colour palette starts on soft tones, slowly building up to an explosion of colours. The pieces are intriguing and the arrangement is structured.

However, fashion design for Auditia is past technical art. It is also about telling a story. It is drawing inspiration from her experience, from our society, holding an affirmation that it can be a medium to open up discussions on matters that impact our lives, and amplify them, if necessary. In Bloom’s case, it is embracing femininity regardless of gender, portrayed through a number of clothes that are designed for both sexes.

 “Growing up, I realised that society has all these gender boxes and its own definition of what it means to be a woman or a man. Since we were little, we have grown accustomed to suppressing our feminine sides. “Stop crying like a little girl”. That is what they would say to us women when we show the slightest emotion, or to men when they express themselves outside the box of gender we are all put in. But we often forget that regardless of our gender, we all have a feminine side inside us.”

“Coming up with a fashion collection is something that requires a collaborative effort. That being said, every time we work on a collection is an opportunity to come together with people from different backgrounds and life experiences. It’s a chance to listen to other people’s take and personal experiences beyond our own and learn from them. So when we finally put it out there and shed the light on that certain topic, we’re also sharing on an accumulation of voices from different perspectives. Hopefully, its domino-effect will allow more people to start a conversation too. Because sometimes there are so many people who are going through the same social challenges, but we don’t even know it.” 

Hair : Yemima Egytha
Makeup : Angelika Samara and Leonardus Y.
Set Design : Studio Marka
Models : Braxton Kamga of Persona Management, Jenney of Dieu Models Management, Sofi Olif of Amor, Carra Tewu of Future Models

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