Jakarta. Paris-based Indonesian fashion designer Harry Halim opened his flagship store in Jakarta on Dec. 8.
"We're very thrilled to open our first flagship store in Jakarta," Harry said. "Jakarta is a huge, dynamic metropolis and the capital of Indonesia, where I was born."
The designer moved to Singapore in 2003 to study fashion at LaSalle College of the Arts.
After graduating three years later, he debuted his eponymous women's ready-to-wear collection in the city-state amid overwhelmingly positive media reviews.
He featured his second collection at the Singapore Fashion Festival in 2007.
Harry also won the prestigious Best Asian Young Fashion Designer Award in Singapore the following year, when he decided to relocate to Paris.
"There's something mysterious and exciting that attracted me to the city," Harry said.
His fall/winter 2010 collection, launched in Paris in 2009, was a success.
During the following year, he became the first Indonesian designer invited to join Fédération Français de la Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter, of which he is still a member.
"Paris has brought me to another level of life," the designer said. "The city of lights have taught me to live by, with and for passion. But as a native Indonesian, this beautiful country [Indonesia] will always inspire me with its cultural diversity."
Harry's new flagship store is located in a leafy residential area in Cipete, South Jakarta.
"I have always loved this area," he said. "There is quite a large French community in this area. And my house is also nearby."
The two-story boutique features a suave interior with its rigid rectangular structure and gray cemented walls and floors. Red lightbulbs, installed at strategic corners in the boutique, add a mysterious feel about the place.
The boutique, which was inspired by the 1983 British-American film "The Hunger," beautifully encases Harry's spring/summer 2018 collection.
In contrast to the usual spring/summer collections that generally feature warm colors, the items in Harry's collection are entirely black.
The collection, themed "Les Fleurs du Mal" ("The Flowers of Evil"), is inspired by the eponymous poetry bundle by renowned French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867).
"I love poems so much," Harry said. "I read a lot of them. And this [poetry bundle] tells how darkness and beauty relate, [and] how darkness can also be romantic."
The collection consists of women's ready-to-wear and semi-couture pieces made of Italian lace, double satin and fine leather. Intricate ruffles and drapery add a sophisticated look.
The collection was also showcased on the first day of Digital Fashion Week in Jakarta on Wednesday (13/12).
"I hope to see Indonesian socialites wearing my collection soon," Harry said.
Harry will divide his time between Jakarta and Paris for the foreseeable future.