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DEBUT Student Meiliany Tjia’s Collection Celebrates the Power and Beauty of Women

DEBUT Student Meiliany Tjia's Collection Celebrates the Power and Beauty of Women

Advanced Fashion Design Student Meiliany Tjia, who is originally from Indonesia, took inspiration from flowers, architecture, and Coco Chanel while designing her DEBUT collection, “Femme Fatale,” which consists of jackets, coats, dresses, pants, and skirts that fit the fall season. We chatted with the International Student about her path to FIDM, the message behind her collection, and how she’s handling the postponement of DEBUT.

Where were you born and raised? I was born in Medan, Indonesia. About five years ago, I moved to the capital city, Jakarta, with my family. I was raised in a very traditional Chinese family that shaped my thoughts and personality. Even though my family is very conservative about what women and men should and should not do, they are very supportive of my decision to pursue fashion design in the United States. My siblings took business majors since my dad is a businessman, but I wanted to be creative and have my own fashion brand in the future.

Tell us about your DEBUT collection: My collection is called “Femme Fatale,” which is an enchantress or a woman who has the charm to conquer or defeat the man who gets entangled with her. But if you ask me what a real femme fatale in today’s world, I like to say that she is a very powerful and seductive, with both feminine and masculine energy. Women should not be inferior to men because both are equal and worthy. For this collection, I took inspiration from flowers, architecture, and Coco Chanel, who is the perfect example of a femme fatale in her era. I like the idea of flowers because they are colorful and lively. It helps me with finding my colorways, which are purple, gold, taupe, and blue. I also looked at numerous architecture designs to help me create the masculine looks in my collection and Chanel’s designs, especially the tweed fabrics. The fabrics I used are wool bouclé, silk charmeuse, polyester satin, and silk metallic stripe fabric. 

What was your path to FIDM? Before I went to FIDM, I had a four-month patternmaking and fashion sketching course in Indonesia to help me know a little bit of fashion design. From this course, I learn how to sew and make patterns of basic pieces like skirts, pants, and dresses. It helped me a lot when I got into FIDM because it made it easier for me to understand the hard steps since I already learned the basic ones.

How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? FIDM helps me to get closer to my goals because I have and understand the necessary knowledge to be in the fashion industry. My education builds my confidence and skills that will be needed in the industry. FIDM also provides me with connections because there is a Career Center that helps the students to find jobs and opportunities.

No one could have imagined a global pandemic would force DEBUT to be cancelled. How are you supporting one another or comforting yourself during this difficult time? It was absolutely a big shock to all of the DEBUT students, but there is nothing we can do about it because it is the law. We are sad but at the same time happy because it is not canceled but only postponed. So, I will stay positive during this difficult time and find opportunities to be more creative and innovative.

What do you hope people take away when seeing your designs? I hope that people will take away the meaning and power of each design when seeing them. I dedicate my designs to women and the idea that they are not weak, but powerful and beautiful.

FIDM regrets that, due to precautionary measures brought on by coronavirus, or COVID-19, we are canceling this year’s DEBUT and related events. In compliance with government recommendations, we plan to reschedule the event when it is possible to do so. We take the safety of our guests, students, staff, and faculty very seriously and thank you in advance for your understanding during this uncertain time.

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Categories:  Advanced Fashion Design International Student