Game of Thrones Inspires Emerging Designer Vina Lilliani

Words by Sonia Sly

Designer Vina Lilliani is a graduate of Singapore's Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and one of 46 designers announced as a finalist for the iD Emerging Designer Awards 2018 to be held at the Dunedin Town Hall 2-6 May.

Vina Lilliana Collection. Photography, Rui Liang @lightspade_studio

The Indonesian-based designer describes her label as bold, daring, unpredictable and fierce. Her collection is inspired by TV show Game of Thrones, with Cersei from the House Lannister as the designer's muse.

"I see her not only as this mad and evil queen, but as a strong-willed, powerful and dangerous woman," says Lilliani. 

Lilliani's collection consists of draped silhouettes made from suiting and pleather with features such as raw edging and hand-stitched wool yarn finishing to create a rustic, barbaric look.

"Each of my garments represent Cersei's situation from becoming the Queen to having her title stripped from her and being shamed, but getting back on her feet. I also borrow details from other characters from the series to tell her story."

Born and raised in Medan, Indonesia, Lilliani has since returned home after completing her fashion degree at NAFA.

“In my hometown, not many people buy branded garments, but those who can afford it buy branded bags and shoes...I think people here prefer fast-fashion because of the constant change of trends and affordability,” she says.

Lilliani was drawn to fashion after viewing Versace's Fall/Winter 2013 collection on Fashion TV. Having grown up in an environment she describes as  'not so fashion-forward',  she was awestruck by what she saw.

“I thought 'how can it be so strong, sexy and feminine, yet not so feminine?’ the designer says. 

Lilliani is also inspired by designers John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Peter Lindbergh, Hussein Chalayan, Frank Gehry and Tadao Ando. The young designer will be visiting New Zealand for the first time when she competes in the iD International Emerging Designer Awards.

Designer Vina Lilliani, image supplied.

Designer Vina Lilliani, image supplied.

Lilliani admits to feeling nervous about putting her work up against designers from around the world, but she is embracing the opportunity.

“I am very grateful...this is my first big step in the fashion world,” she says.

The competition will be one of many challenges ahead for Lilliani who says there are plenty of obstacles to contend with in a broader context. Firstly, because designers are becoming more innovative with garment creation which creates a more competitive creative space, but there is an additional challenge - the fear of offending others in an environment that focuses on being 'inclusive.' 

“The bar is set higher now because people are very sensitive about culture, size, gender and other issues,” says Lilliani.

You can find out more about Vina Lilliani on the NEW KID Directory.

Tickets for the International Emerging Designer Awards are available for purchase via the iD Fashion Week website:

Vina Lilliani's collection will be on show at the iD Emerging Designer Awards 2018. Images supplied.