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Fashion
September 06, 2017

Talking Ikat With Indonesia’s Merdi Sihombing

Text by Sharmi Ghosh Dastidar

“The trick is in contemporising age-old crafts with a twist here and there”

Known to be adventurous with his designs, Indonesia’s Merdi Sihombing champions the cause of woven textiles and has been flooring fashionistas all over the world with his effortless take on separates. His clever layering of garments reeks of extravagance without being outlandish.

The talented designer grew up watching his mother sew all the time. “While my mother had a penchant for embroidering pretty patterns onto garments, my sister loved dressing up. Those memories are special. I, on the other hand, wanted to create clothes that would tell the world about our rich heritage in woven textiles and hence I chose the sustainable route to create high fashion garments that were wearable as well,” says Sihombing, whose clothes have been applauded on international runways.

The designer wants to inform and educate consumers  about the benefits of eco-fashion. “I also want to introduce the rich cultural heritage of our ancestors to the world. The trick is in contemporising these age-old crafts with a twist here and there. For instance, I create western silhouettes such as jumpsuits, dresses, trench coats and pant suits with traditional weaves. They are popular among the audience because the base is so different. This way, our craftsmen are able to improve their living conditions as well as maintain the culture of their ancestors, preserve the environment and educate the next generation”, rounds off Sihombing.

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