“To travel is to inspire and be inspired” a relevant quote to describe how the Jovian Mandagie for Zalora Raya collection came about. After paying a visit to Kyoto, Japan, Jovian Mandagie himself immersed in the rich culture of Japan’s former capital city and found inspiration that led to his latest Raya collection EDO.
The 30 set collection features graceful silhouettes with dreamy hues and a few bold ones that are elegant much like the gentlewomen of the far east with traditional Japanese kimonos and art pieces infused in the design. We got a chance to quiz Jovian on his EDO collection, his love for Japan and his favourite piece.
1. So you’ve taken inspiration from Japan for this year’s Raya collection for Zalora, tell us more about it.
Jovian Mandagie: Every year for my Zaloraya collection I’ll make sure that we produce something that’s different in terms of concept and exciting in terms of inspiration. This year is no exception as my recent trip to Kyoto, Japan left me with quite the impression. The gentle and feminine mannerism of a Japanese woman drew me in to create this feminine and romantic collection. They are the epitome of eastern women that we often refer to as ‘wanita timur‘.
2. What’s the design process like?
JM: Every single one of the print is carefully designed taking inspiration from the kimono fabrics I collected during my stay in Japan. Kimonos are super intricate in design some featured batik and even hand-woven songket. Did you know that there are unfinished stitching at the back of a kimono to indicate the wearer’s age and standard? I found that fascinating so I’ve incorporated some of those elements in the collection as well. Every piece has its own story to tell and when I look at them it reminds me of the moments while I was there, so it’s very sentimental to me.
3. How do you marry two different traditional wear – Japanese and Malay, together?
JM: They both have that beautiful feminine silhouette and each of them has their own unique attraction. I’ve incorporated kimono sleeves, loose and maxi tops inspired by the kimono silhouette and mash it together with the traditional Malay wear like baju kurung, caftan, and kebaya. I also implemented an obi belt-like effect using a sash on some of the design.
4. Which piece is your favourite from the collection?
JM: Emiro dress, which is made of organza fabric, printed with a vintage obi that I collected from the vintage store.
5. Can your collection be worn on a day-to-day basis?
JM: The beauty of this collection is that it’s very versatile. I wanted to make it practical so that you can wear it not just during the festive season like Hari Raya but wear it again on casual days, for work and even cocktail events.
6. So what’s next for you?
JM: For my own Raya collection, I’ve decided to collaborate with my mentor, Ivan Gunawan. I thought now would be a better time to design a collection together with him, so be sure to look out for that. It’s set to launch sometime in April.
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