A look into Harry Halim’s Coven for A/W 2023. After a series of collections exploring heartbreak and yearning, Harry Halim turns a new page in his sultry AW23 presentation.
Famed for being a designer for the stars, Indonesian designer, Harry Halim presents his Autumn/Winter 2023 collection this March. The show took place on the 16th of March and was staged in Bengkel Space, Jakarta. This marks the first solo show held by the designer in Indonesia after his comeback show in Jakarta Fashion Week.
With this AW 23 collection, “Pagan Poetry,” Harry Halim closes off his series of trilogies exploring heartbreak. This trilogy starts off in his AW22 collection “Devotion” and is followed up by SS23 “The Impossible Love,” where both collections were designed from a melancholic viewpoint that dwells on the pain that comes from heartbreak. However, this collection is meant to be the closing part of this chapter, where the designer creates pieces that exerts a more powerful feeling. With so much pain and sadness being embedded in the last collection, Halim decided to resolve his explorations of heartbreak through a message of confidence and empowerment.
Halim took inspiration from the lore of witches and covens and reimagined what witches in our current times would dress like as a Harry Halim muse. “Pagan Poetry” calls for a brighter chapter in this story. Inspired by folklores about witches, it is an invitation for modern witches to celebrate love and freedom,” says Halim in a statement, “There is always a romance within darkness. I want something wicked but also fun.”
The designer presents this sense of sinister and wickedness by playing off a darker colour palette. He also shares that in the process of crafting the collection, he experimented with different shades of vegan leather, mainly browns and maroons that were a nod to the folkish feel that is present in most tales of witches. He also uses his signature choices of satin and velvet while exploring colours that were associated with the occult, such as shades of purples and greens.
“I redeveloped some looks from the previous collection to be more suitable for red-carpet events. Male corsetry and trouser gowns have been a favourite from the last season, so I am reiterating these ideas again. Furry boots from AW2022 and my signature KITANA is back but with new tube heels,” the designer elaborates, “There will be crosses details on the garments and gloves. I collaborate with MAHIJA once again to bring back our crown of thorns as a signature piece. This time, however, we will have more thorns in the accessories.”
Halim also dabbles into deconstructive fashion in this collection, to give that feel of rawness and roughness in this chapter. To emphasise the sense of strength he tries to convey this season, he combines these sleek materials with sharp and refined tailoring. This adds up to an outcome of sultry pieces that oozed an aura of regality when worn by the models strutting down the gothic runway set. Overall, the collection was a daring statement filled with a juxtaposition of romantic cutting and flair mixed with gothic elements of metal embellishments and eccentric textiles which creates a graceful vision of the clothes’ motion as the models strut. (Text Vanya Harapan)