Indonesia must be proud of having a designer who has been successful in making one of Indonesian style of clothings, kebaya to be more famous not only for Indonesian people but also to the world. Kebaya no longer has the image of old-fashioned style but it is enlightened by the modern touch which is fit and fashionable for modern ladies. Yes, she is Anne Avantie, the popular woman designer who has dedicated her life for 22 years in preserving, creating, and promoting kebaya. It seems that todays, when someone mentions kebaya, people will directly think about her. The image of kebaya has been strongly attached toward her.
The lady born in May 20, 1954 decided to share her happiness in celebrating her 22 career years by coming back to her hometown, Solo city to hold a majestic lavish fashion show. Such an honour for her, Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat (Solo Palace) agreed to give Anne chance to use its spacious yard to be the main venue of her fashion show. The place considered as sacred place for Solo people became the witness of the beautiful show with 3,000 of invited guests. They were celebrities, socialites, businessmen, government officials, and the most special guests for Anne were the friends of his late father, Hari Alexander until all people who had coloured her life when she was child including her nuns, teachers, pedicab drivers, and gardeners.
The event was entitled, "Anne, Cinta, dan Sahabat" (Anne, Love, and Friends) and conducted in May 27, 2011 started from 6.30 pm until late at night. Follow me to feel the togetherness and love delivered by Anne.
Since 2 pm, the committee who had job description to welcome and handle the guests had been busy to prepare. They groomed up with Javanese outfits. Amazingly. they were all still young but had high awareness to participate with event with strong touch of traditional Javanese culture. They were young people from Sebelas Maret University, Sahid Tourism School, Slamet Riyadi University, Yayasan Putra Putri Solo (Price and Pricess of Solo Foundation), Rotaract Solo Pakarti, and Solo Youth Heritage Organization. They became more enthusiastic to join it especially after a day before Anne, by herself came and talked deep gratitude toward their help in succeeding her show. Anne could stay humble to all class of people including for those young people though she had become well known in Indonesia.
At 6 pm, the flood of guests started. Committee were ready to greet and welcome them warmly. Soon after they showed the invitation card to ticketing committee, the royal maid or commonly called as abdi dalem directly draped them samir, the typical sash from Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat with yellow and red colour. The usage of samir was kind of regulation before entering the palace. Surprisingly, there was a girl from Japan were together and dressed up like abdi dalem to drape samir to the guests as well. People might not pay attention to it because she became to look like Javanese with abdi dalem dress. This was another proof about how foreigner loved Indonesian culture.
The guests were also welcomed by young people from Putra Putri Solo foundation who completely dressed up with typical elegant Javanese costume. They gave the warm smile to all guests; like a little remembrance about how friendly Solo people are. From the view, guest could directly see the beautiful tower of Panggung Sanggabuwana in their left side. In the past, people could not build any constructions higher than Panggungsanggabuwana. In the right side, they could see display of traditional products to sell. Yes, since they came inside, their eyes were never ended to be spoiled by the perspective of traditional Javanese culture.
The guests then walked to the deeper complex of the palace. They finally reached the spacious area called as Pelataran Kedhaton. It was sandy area and people believed that the sand were sent from southern coast of Java. There, people could also see the joglo building (Javanese typical style of construction) having the name Sasana Sewaka. The lamps reflected very well the the marble created the beautiful orange atmosphere inside the building. Thus, no wonder that guests made it as favourite place to take picture that night.
Mere in several minutes, Pelataran Kedhaton had been full by thousands of guests. They were very patient to wait. The image to see was also beautiful. All of them wore dress-code of Batik for men and kebaya for the women. Totally full of spirit of Indonesia. While they seat, they looked elegant beneath the neat arrangement of old big sawo kecik tree, the typical tree of Javanese family in the past.
Finally, the show started. Diah Ayu Pasha was chosen to be the presenter. He looked gracefully with kebaya with kutu baru style which was the typical character of Solonese kebaya. She began with little story about the chilhood time of Anne Avantie who was born with the name Sianne Avatie. Off course, she did not forget to mention the achievements and contribution of Anne Avantie for Indonesia both in culture and social works. Then, Minister of Women Empowerment, Linda Agum Gumelar gave her welcoming speech which also stated that Anne Avantie had became the inspiration for all women all over Indonesia from the bunch of contributions she did. After the speech, the flowers are given by mother of Anne Avantie. Amie Indriati as gratitude to Linda Agum Gumelar; Iriana, wife of Solo Mayor Joko Widodo; Sri Suharti, wife of Central Java Governor Bibit Waluyo, sponsors, and all main important players who prepared Anne Avantie's that night show.
The video was also presented as the life synopsis of Anne Avantie. It talked about her family, her career, and social activity. After the video ended, guests were surprised by the coming of abdi dalem to the stage who were followed by royal troops with arcs. They became the opening models of the show. Off course, it became something unique in the beginning of the show. Then they placed themselves in the left and right side of the stage. They were there from the beginning until the end of the show.
The real model finally appeared. They attracted he audiences with simple styles of kebaya or commonly called as "ready to wear" kebaya.
The crowd could be felt more during the couple fashion show. Guests were very happy to see the models who were the stars of television. Some of them are Rio Dewanto - Atiqah Hasiholan. Anjasmara - Dian Nitami, and Atalarik Syah - Dominique.
Other kebaya styles to perform were the kebaya with the combination of Chinese touch.
The show absolutely got hotter, when Anne Avantie's friends who were designers came on stage. They with other models played act to buy batik clothings from old ladies who sell on the street in traditional ways. Nycta Gina and Indra Bekti gave surprise the audience by bringing bicycle on stage. They were so funny by making hilarious movement. During that attractive act, Judika Idol delightfully sang "Candu Asmara" song that successfully gave the "beat" on the stage.
Indonesian famous singers also participated to festive Anne Avantie's fashion show. Some of them were Vina Panduwinata with "Melati Suci" song, Titik Puspa with "Adinda" song which she modified exclusively for Anne Avantie that night, Lea Simanjutak with "Sepasang Mata Bola" song, and Krisdayanti with "Mencintaimu" song.
Very colourful, very entertaining, very impressive; those what guests could say from the beautiful kebaya designs created by Anne Avantie. They were hypnotized by the graceful work performed by outstanding models like Arzeti Bilbina, Ira Wibowo, Widyawati, Rima Melati, Marini, Danni Dahlan, Paundrakarna and still many others. Without they realized, the show was ended with the sign of the attendance other royal troops on stage and the performance of Mask Dance.
Anne Avantie got very loud applause from the audiences when she came back on stage. Anne Avantie's friend came on the edge of the stage to hug and give flowers to her as form of their high appreciation. Anne Avantie could not hide her happy tears. It was obvious to mention that she was very satisfied and joyful to give something special to her hometown, Solo and to celebrate it with her lovely friends.
Keep inpiring Anne Avantie, Indonesia needs a woman like you who can give love, idea, and motivation to give something stupendous for the growth of better Indonesia with any kinds of contribution.
By Sonny Hendrawan Saputra