Young Raffles Designers shine in the oldest Fashion Competition in Indonesia

As a prestigious fashion design competition, Lomba Perancang Mode (Fashion Designers Contest) by Femina Group is a stepping stone for the future of Indonesian designers. Since its inception in 1979, the competition has discovered numerous successful designers such as Samuel Wattimena, Chossy Latu, Itang Yunasz, Edward Hutabarat, Carmanita, Ferry Soenarto, Denny Wirawan, Moses Widiatmodjo, Stephanus Hamy, Widhi Budimulia, and for the latest generation, the likes of Sally Koeswanto, Billy Tjong, Danny Satriadi, Priyo Octaviano and Jeffry Tan.

This year, the theme of the competition was “24 HOUR STYLE”, looking for young and talented designers to interpret the concept for active urban women. The final was organised on January 29th, 2014, in Ice Palace, LOTTE Shopping Avenue mall. Both our designers, Raffles Jakarta’s Diana Nathania and Raffles Shanghai’s Natalia Kiantoro, joined this competition as it is the most prestigious fashion competition in Indonesia, and its goal is to find the next top Indonesian designers year after year. As upcoming young designers, it is a chance to gain national exposure for both of them.


For Natalia, the inspiration for her collection was taken from Jadis, the Ice Queen from the Chronicles of Narnia. As the character is a heartless, cold-blooded lady, it was translated in the use of sharp lines as well as the use of both black and dark blue in the colour palette. Diana Nathania’s theme for her collection was the peony, a flower associated in China with wealth and good fortune and with bravery in Japan. She wanted the flower to represent the women in her collection as they are “beautiful, well-educated, yet brave and daring to take risks”.


Our two alumnae highlighted different challenges they have encountered to bring their creations to the stage. Diana said translating the mood of the sketches into real garments was challenging, as the competition doesn’t allow alteration. She pointed at her former Fashion Design creative practitioner in Raffles Jakarta, Mr. Sanjay Razora, as a source of inspiration to turn to when in need to overcome the challenges she met during this competition. I really have to thank him for advising me to use the best and appropriate fabrics to bring out the silhouettes and mood of my creation as close as possible to the sketches. I follow these advices and thanks to his lessons, I can make it this far in this competition”.


 Natalia Kiantoro mentioned that time management was her main issue as she had to juggle her participation in the competition while receiving orders from clients of her own brand. As her fellow Raffles contestant, Natalia held special thought on her time as a Raffles student in Shanghai, she was quoted saying: “If the lecturers didn't push me to my limits, I'm pretty sure I would not be who I am today”. And she went on to advise her juniors still studying to “not underestimate any school projects, whether they think it is important for their future, or not. It will always bring them meaningful lessons”. Something that Diana Nathania echoed, saying that students should pay close attention to their lecturers’ insights as “their sharp advices will help students get better, and that most of these find practical use”.


After both finishing in the Top 10 of the competition, they will be going back to their respective projects. For Natalia Kiantoro, she will be back to produce her ready-to-wear line and hopefully to show her latest projects in upcoming fashion shows, with an eye on having her own showroom in the near future. Meanwhile, Diana Nathania will focus on her brand “Nathania KHO” to create beautiful deluxe casual garments and bridal wear. As their path to success is just starting, Raffles is proud of their current achievements and wishes them the best of success to come.

Raffles Students side by side on stage 

Natalia (left) and Diana (right)

Diana Nathania and her creations on stage during the semi-final round


Natalia Kiantoro - Jadis


Diana Nathania - The Peony


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