Designer Arantxa Adi says his goal is to any woman look beautiful in one of his exquisite dresses. (Photos courtesy of Arantxa Adi)

After 16 Years, Arantxa Adi Flying High on Cloud No. 9

JANUARY 07, 2015

Designer Arantxa Adi says his goal is to any woman look beautiful in one of his exquisite dresses. (Photos courtesy of Arantxa Adi)

Sexy and elegant. Those two words often stand side by side in fashion articles. But in reality, those two notions rarely go together.

Sexy dresses are often too revealing, making those who wear them look cheap and tasteless. The elegant look, on the other hand, is quite elusive. In trying to create elegant dresses, many fashion designers have made their dresses too complicated or uncomfortable to wear.

Very few designers can successfully marry sexiness and elegance. One of them is Arantxa Adi. The designer has been labeled the “celebrity darling” for a reason — many of Indonesia’s top celebrities and socialites depend on his charming dresses for their much-scrutinized public appearances.

Arantxa recently presented his 2015 evening gown collection, which was called “Number 9.” The fashion show, held at the Grand Ballroom of Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, presented 72 new looks.

“My ‘Number 9’ collection is like the greatest hits of a singer,” said the 36-year-old. “It’s the culmination of my 16 years in fashion.”

Arantxa started out in the business in Jakarta in 1998. Through word of mouth, his clientele grew from a few close friends and relatives, to the creme de la creme of the capital’s social scene.

Among his clients today are actress and model Aimee Juliet, pop singer Raisa Andriana and actress Tara Basro.

“Arantxa’s dresses are usually very simple, yet tasteful and glamorous,” Aimee said. “That’s why I’ve always loved his collections.”

Arantxa’s latest show was supported by vodka brand Absolut Elyx.

“Arantxa’s collection is an epitome of Indonesia’s high fashion,” said Edhi Sumadi, managing director of Pernod Ricard Indonesia, which distributes Absolut vodka in the country. “It perfectly matches the DNA of our premium vodka brand.”

The event combined a lavish gala dinner, fashion show and late-night party. Top choreographer Jay Subiyakto and show director Ineth Leimena worked with Arantxa for six months to prepare the event. And the fruit of their hard work was truly commendable.

For the event, the entire grand ballroom was entirely decked out in black. While enjoying their dinner, the guests were entertained by performances from jazz singer Andien and pop singer Sammy Simorangkir.

After dinner, the black curtains draped across the walls of the ballroom fell, and the guests were taken into another room with velvet sofas, plush carpets and a glitzy golden runway.

The ambience resembled the lounge of a gentleman’s club in the 1960s.

The show was divided into two sessions.

The first session featured cocktail dresses in shades of champagne, peach and green. Floral appliques and discreet beading embellished the dresses.

(Photos courtesy of Arantxa Adi)

Up-and-coming screen starlet Chelsea Islan took part in the show and looked fabulous in a sleeveless silk satin dress overlaid with Italian lace. The emerald green dress really brought out the fair complexion of the 19-year-old.

In the same session, fellow actress and model Pevita Eileen Pearce mesmerized the audience when she appeared in a fern-green gown. The exquisite design of the gown highlighted the 22-year-old’s petite figure.

“They’re my muses,” Arantxa said. “They’re very young, and yet have achieved many great things in their careers.”

In the same session, actress Luna Maya presented a navy-and-white dress made entirely of macrame. The long-sleeved midi dress looked very elegant on the 31-year-old actress.

The second session featured elegant evening gowns in black and white. Made with laser-cut techniques, most of the dresses were embellished with ornate cut-out details.

“It’s the first time for me to use laser-cut techniques,” Arantxa said. “And it turned out to be quite difficult and complicated.”

In this sequence, top model Kimmy Jayanti presented a black mini dress made of silk satin and tulle. The slashed-out details along the bodice and sleeves adorned the otherwise quiet dress.

The show culminated with the appearance of model Laura Muljadi in a black-and-white silk satin dress. The vertical stripes of the long dress highlighted Laura’s beautiful figure and gave her a soft feminine look.

“I’ve learned a lot in my career — how to emphasize women’s strong points and conceal their weaknesses,” Arantxa said. “I want to make all women beautiful in my dresses.

“They know what’s good for their bodies,” he added. “No famous designers or global trends can dictate them.”

Arantxa said he had only one resolution for 2015. “I want to keep learning,” he said. “I want to be better at what I do.”