Friday, 20 November 2009

Hijab Style Exclusive: Interview with Irna Mutiara

Yesterday I posted some of Irna Mutiara's designs here, which were on the runway at Jakarta Fashion Week. Today, Hijab Style brings you an exclusive interview with Irna about her work in the Indonesian Islamic fashion industry:

Irna Mutiara
Jana: Tell us about yourself and your background.

Irna: My educational background and interests are in the world of fashion. I used to work in the garment industry with a couple of suppliers of ready-to-wear clothes.

With these experiences in mind, I started out with my own means, and designed and worked on some projects such as companies’ uniforms and individual clothing orders.

Along the way, I got the chance to get together with two of my acquaintances who shared similar interests, and we agreed to set up the Trimoda Uptodate corporation. The company focuses on Muslim clothing lines, especially casual Muslim clothing.

During the second year of our business, we have captured a niche that hasn't yet been explored - that of Muslim wedding fashion. The interesting part is that in Indonesia the cultures are so diverse. And along with an increasing awareness of wearing Muslim clothing, Muslim wedding clothes are also in demand.

Jana: What challenges have you faced along the way?

Irna: Combining cultures and the requirements of Muslim clothing is a challenge in and of itself. In Indonesia, most wedding costumes tend to have a body-tight silhouette, with heavy use of lace and brocade. In Islamic clothing, any tightness and transparency is pretty much avoided. For this reason, I try to promote Muslim wedding costumes in a different manner.

Even though the majority of Indonesians are Muslim, the separation of male and female guests in wedding receptions isn't really applied. This is in fact quite different from Middle Eastern or Arab countries, where the bridal dress, as well as the guests' dresses, can be less covered because they are in a separate room from the males.

In Indonesia, the groom and bride and all the guests are still in the same function room, which brings about the need for dresses and bridal outfits which are covered up. This is an opportunity and also a challenge for us to provide Muslim wedding gowns and party/glamorous dresses. We also see this as an emerging market with a lot of room for future growth.

Jana: What other factors do you need to take into consideration when designing bridal dresses?

Irna: In the case of the wedding costume, a personal touch is very necessary because we have to very much grasp the culture, interests, preferences, personal style and even the dream of the bride and groom. At this point, the interaction between the designer and the couple will be very intense. Grasping the clients' needs and combining them with Islamic clothing requirements and of course the design elements, will create beautiful outfits that are comfortable and memorable.

Jana: Where can your clothing line be found?

Irna: Currently our clothing is being sold under the Up2date line. We have a solid design team and our products have secured a good name and are well known in the Indonesian Muslim fashion industry.


sis said...

I like some of them a lot , nice work! :0) Interesting to see the styles.

StyleShake said...

Design of Muslim dresses keeping fashion and faith side by side is really a challenging job.
Irna Mutiara's creaivity is really remarkable.

suzannita said...

So proud with one of the best designer from Indonesia, I love her design, love you aunty


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