International Haute Couture Designer: ‘This has hypnotized me’
TAIPEI, Taiwan—Leading Indonesian international fashion designer Dr. Harry Darsono brought nearly 20 friends to Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, March 25.
An accomplished haute couturier, Dr. Darsono has gained international recognition designing for stars, socialites, presidents and princesses. He studied fashion in Paris and London, and received a doctorate degree in Humanistic Philosophy at Oxford. His haute couture and textile designs appear in markets of Europe, America, Australia and Asia. He is also renowned for his embroidery, jewelry, stage productions and costumes, and other artwork, and has received multiple honors from the British royal family as well as the Indonesian government.
Dr. Darsono, who had heard about Shen Yun from friends in New York, traveled to Taipei to see Shen Yun for his birthday.
“Magic!” he exclaimed, “Beyond those all!” Watching the show completely refreshed him from the fatigues of his long journey, he said.
Shen Yun is ‘Haute Couture’
On Shen Yun’s handmade costumes: “I could really see the hemming line. They [Shen Yun] use needlework. We call it haute couture. ‘Haute’ means the ultimate and ‘couture’ means the needlework.”
“So this is the ultimate of needlework, hand-needlework. It generates the flow, the feel, and the fall of the fabrics,” he said, “The three F’s of fashion.”
“But this is not only performing arts, this is really magic,” Dr. Darsono continued, “For a textile and fashion designer, everything has to be so detailed. And this had craftsmanship, technique. It’s so magically well choreographed.”
The Genius of Shen Yun
Dr. Darsono, who also provides designs and costumes for stage productions, said, “Shen Yun is really stunning, the technique of the showmanship consists of many elements, such as the colors and the changing formations. But the most outstanding thing that really caught my eye was the choreography. So many small details, so well arranged, well created by someone who has been observing the ancient Chinese culture.
“It is the ancient China meeting with the contemporary world, and this is the real China. I remember a book called The Genius That Was China. I say now that the genius is China, is Shen Yun.
“[Shen Yun] not only catches your attention, keeps you awake, but the blend of colors shows the combination of the ancient and contemporary worlds.... This is Chinese culture!”
Shen Yun Will Set the World’s Fashion Trends
“[Shen Yun’s] color scheme starting from the very early spring or late winter, to the summer vibrant colors. They are very much inspiring to the fashion world.
“As early as the 1970s, many French and Italian fashion designers were influenced by Chinese culture. For example, the head dresses were really inspiring to brands like YSL [Yves Saint Laurent], Balenciaga and Kenzo.”
Dr. Darsono believes that Shen Yun’s costume design is ancient Chinese culture with a contemporary touch, and will inspire many more designers around the world.
Harry Darsono is the consulting fashion designer for the World Gold Council, head member of the Indonesian Committee for Fashion Design Education, and appointed designer for Miss World Indonesia. He has acted as chief stage inspector for the Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Indonesia and Taipei, and is the founder of the Harry Darsono Museum. Dr. Darsono, who plays 13 musical instruments and is a concert pianist, is on the board of directors for the Jakarta Chamber Orchestra.
“Really a great honor,” Dr. Darsono concluded, “Really, really magic.”
March 28, 2012