Lenny Agustin: Feel Good
By Leonnie Leonardo
FOCUS ON DESIGNER
LENNY AGUSTIN: Feel Good
“Fashion is my passion since I was a little girl, I used to dress up my dolls and save fashion articles from newspapers or magazines,” the artistic designer told us. Born in Surabaya on August 1973, Lenny Agustin has studied in three different fashion and mode schools: Akademi Seni Rupa dan Desain Mode ISWI, Bunka School of Fashion and La Salle College. At the moment she is studying a Magister of Cultural Studies at Jakarta Arts Institute. In 2001, Lenny started her own career by opening a fashion boutique in Kuningan, Jakarta. She expressed herself through fashion designing and she did it not only for work, but for fun too!
Self Expression and Doing Something You Love
“I used to do traditional dancing when I was little, the costumes that I wore intrigues me and I also enjoy reading fairytales books, I imagine the princesses’s costumes in my head while reading.” Lenny Agustin expressed art, culture and tradition in her designs. She revealed that her inspirations came from not only the Indonesian culture, but also the Japanese Harajuku. Her love and passion for Japanese art brought her to Japan Fashion Week in 2009, where she showcased her creativity on the runway. Since the beginning of her career, Lenny has always been consistent throughout her collection; uplifting Indonesia’s culture and using Indonesian traditional fabrics such as Batik. “We do not have the opportunity to expand our business because of the lack of goverment support, and we have to rely on ourselves, whereas the creativity and abundance of traditional fabrics is available,” she said.
Young, playful, funky and edgy are the words used to describe Lenny’s creations. International fashion designers such as Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood and Christian Lacroix are the people Lenny look up to and have influenced her and her designs.
These designers are known for using art as a major role and inpiration in their designs, same goes to Lenny; she mentioned that fashion is basically art, the combination of colors and the originalty of the creators fascinates her. Being a designer will face a ton of new challenges everyday, coming out with new creative ideas is one of the diffulties Lenny has to face as she does not want to be a mundane designer. Her mission and vision are to influence the young generation to be more familiar with the Indonesian culture and fabrics and expressing their own style through her products.
Idealist to Commercial
Not everything is permanent, Lenny Agustin confessed that she has gone from being an idealist to be a more commercial designer to reach a bigger target market. Although, sometimes she has a hard time not being an idealist as she is used to it. At times when ideas ran out, Lenny often visit bookstores to read books or travel elsewhere to gain inspiration and fresh ideas. In 2008, Lenny’s second line, LENNOR, was launched. Unlike her first brand, LENNY AGUSTIN, which focuses more on bridal gowns and cocktail contemporer, her second brand focuses more on ready to wear fashion that uses ninety percent of traditional materials and fabrics such as Batik, Sarong, Balinese Tenun and Kalimantan Sasiringan. The name ‘Lennor’ originally came from a slang Gypsy word which meant ‘Summer’, the name itself portays the garments which are very light and comfortable to use. It can be used not only for leisure, but it is also appropriate for office wear. LENNOR launches new themes every year, which are released every two to three months.
Fashion is My Playground
Dedicating to fashion design students and young new designers who have the passion to create and expressing their own style, Lenny Agustin proudly launched her first book ‘Fashion is My Playground’ in February 2012. She considered that being a woman does produce a different touch to fashion rather than male designers because being a woman herself, she understands how women feel and what is more comfortable to a woman. When asked what is her ultimate craziest dream in fashion design, she facetiously answered, “Creating a fashion show using senior citizens as the models with my style.” This aspiring woman have won multiple awards such as being one of the 25 Inspiring Women 2014 from Marie Claire Magazine and won Woman Designer of the Year from Elle Style Awards in Association with PONDS in 2011. Aside her numerous awards, she has participated in reputable fashion shows in Indonesia like Jakarta Fashion Week, Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival and the Indonesia Fashion Week. Her own fashion show is also held annually since 2007. The charming Lenny Agustin adviced to all the young fashion designers out there to always be themself and create their own new designs constantly, “Being a fashion designer is an art and a form of self-expression; not a dress maker only.”