Indonesian designer Rinaldy Yunardi is internationally renowned for his creations, which have adorned the likes of Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Cher and Madonna. But interestingly, he never thought he’d be a designer. His first job out of high school was in a large company, However this didn’t last, and with his parents being skilled creatives, he too found himself always tinkering with materials. Since moving into design 23 years ago, he has specialised in millinery, fashion accessories and interior art lighting – all entirely self-taught.
In 2017, his first year entering WOW, he won the Avant-garde Section with Cosmos (pictured below, left) and the Open Section and the Supreme WOW Award with Encapsulate (pictured below, right). Each garment took four months to create.
WOW enables the designer, who is also an artist, to come full circle in creating wearable art, where there is no dilution in the idealistic expression; where the story-telling and imagination can be limitless … It encompasses the best of both worlds for me.
In 2019 Rinaldy entered the Competition again with two entries, The Lady Warrior (Avant-garde Section) and Equilibrium – Fire (Open Section). Both entries were inspired by the strength of woman and used traditional Indonesian weaving techniques to create shape and sculpture. “Though the methodology is traditional, the expression is avant-garde and bold, just like the women of today.”
Inspired by his mother who has been a great inspiration in Rinaldy’s life, The Lady Warrior is exquisitely crafted using metal and recycled paper. The Lady Warrior was born vulnerable but with life experience, she has become strong. Through witnessing his mother’s inner strength, beauty and love, Rinaldy wanted to celebrate the many facets of a woman – daughter, wife, friend and most importantly, mother. He sees women as ‘the toughest warriors in life’, wearing many hats that weave into one.
The metal elements of the garment – bronze emblazoned with intricate motifs – are symbolic of armour. Paper alone is fragile; the recycled paper which has been woven tightly together to form rope represents the intertwining of life experiences that have contributed to her inner strength.
At the 2019 Awards Ceremony, The Lady Warrior swept up, winning the 2019 Avant-garde Section, the International Design Award: Asia and the coveted Supreme WOW Award. The judges described the garment as an extraordinary metamorphosis of a fragile organic material into something beautiful; demonstrating perfect balance and form. They loved the use of traditional weaving to create a piece that feels so contemporary.
I love to experiment with different materials and techniques so that every creation is unique.