They might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re in the mood to get married, and you’re Indonesian, the latest stunning creations in white, turquoise and pink are this season’s must have.
The kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination made from sheer fabric such as silk or thin cotton.
These have been given a modern twist at Indonesia’s Grand Wedding Expo in Jakarta.
Thirty-one year old fashion designer, Ivan Gunawan also uses hand-woven sarongs for both men and women. He says he didn’t want to tamper with the traditional look: “The pattern and designs of the traditional sarong are all original, I didn’t do anything with them because I wanted to elaborate on how beautiful and special they are. I combined them with modern “Kebaya” that I hope will bring new trends and options for brides and grooms to wear on their special day.”
But the expo also features more western style white bridal outfits. Designers have used a variety of fabrics, many of which are carefully inlaid with intricate embroidery, precious stones and crystals.
The bridal kebaya can cost several thousand euros, depending on the fabrics used. Indonesia boasts a rich cultural diversity, and the weddings here are unique and indicative of family status. But young couples today like to bridge the traditional with the modern.
Desy Novianti is a typical bride-to-be: “I’ve chosen a modern style gown for the church service, but I came here because I want to have both a modern and traditional theme in my wedding. So I’ll wear a modern gown for the service and a kebaya for the wedding reception.”
Just like elsewhere around the world, the wedding day itself is considered to be one of the most important events for most Indonesian families. The event is a social symbol of wealth and many families are happy to part with thousands of dollars to hold a big wedding ceremony and reception.
Ella Haryanto is one of the Grand Wedding Expo organisers and told euronews a wedding needn’t cost the earth: “Weddings can be adjusted to suit any couple’s budget. They just need to go to wedding vendors, tell them how big the budget is and the vendors will come up with a wedding plan that accommodates their needs.”
And naturally, this all means that weddings are big business in Indonesia, so the Grand Wedding Expo is held twice a year to show off the latest trends, designs and creations.