The Harry Darsono Museum: Indonesian Inspiration, Glamourous Genius

Have you ever wondered what the house of an haute-couture designer looks like? Do you know what happens after royalty and socialites wear their gorgeous ball-gowns and refuse to be seen wearing them again? Did you know gold thread and encrusted diamonds are common materials used to dress the rich and famous? If your answer is no to any of these questions you are in for a treat!

A few days ago I was lucky to be able to meet Harry Darsono, Indonesian designer extravagante, fearless artist and a philantropist by heart. Monsieur Darsono, who was born in Surabaya and raised in different parts of Europe has recently transformed his personal abode into a museum. Not only is the house gorgeously designed by him at an architectural level but all the nooks and crannies within it have his special touch whether in the form of a wooden mirror frame or a marble or glass sculpture and naturally the exhibition of his fashion designs.

Gorgeous Architecture. It's easy to forget you are in Jakarta.

Gorgeous Architecture. It’s easy to forget you are in Jakarta.

Mr. Darsono himself showing us his creations.

Mr. Darsono himself showing us his creations.

Mr Darsono himself is the tour guide and perfect raconteur of the history behind every piece being displayed in his home. This extravagant and eclectic home houses all kinds of treasures such as a perfume fountain used by Louis XV himself, a Jewelry encrusted tiara owned by the late Lady Di, the diamond and gold thread dress Queen Sirikit of Thailand wore during her coronation, Opera costumes and a few dresses worn by several Beauty Queens from countries such as Brazil and Ukraine.

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Stunning!

Stunning!

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Hand Weaved and Hand Painted Silk

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Opera Gown

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Showing us his PlayBill Collection

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Worn by Lady Di

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Worn by Queen Rania

Perfection in Detail.

Perfection in Detail.

Gorgeous Materials.

Gorgeous Materials.

Creative Genius.

Creative Genius.

Whimsical Designs

Whimsical Designs

There is no empty space in this home and every single piece mounts of history behind it. China, textie, jewelry, you name it. Every artifact has Mr. Darsono’s signature. Since his collection is so vast, Mr. Darsono rotates his creations every six months where a new decade of his work is displayed. We got to see a few pieces from the 70’s and were able to appreciate his genius in his masterpieces.

History in Pictures

History in Pictures

Bold colors and textures

Bold colors and textures

View from the Second Floor

View from the Second Floor

Intricate Details

Intricate Details

Harry Darsono doesn’t only open his home but his heart to his visitors. He tells stories about his childhood and how he only sleeps for three hours every night. He makes you feel at home and his word are as delightful as his creations. Harry Potter as he likes to call himself on occasion plays 13 musical instruments and shared a bit of his talent with us. He even allowed us to wear his designs.

Ernest Hemingway's Desk

Ernest Hemingway’s Desk

Wearing his Creations.

Wearing his Creations.

Lady Di's Tiara

Lady Di’s Tiara

Feather Hat

Feather Hat

Feather Hat from a newer mirror.

Feather Hat from a newer mirror.

I was so awestruck not only by his genius but by his kind heart. The funds he collects from the Museum visits go to the maintenance of his Museum and the support of children he mentors in the arts. He treats all of his visitors like family and is happy to answer any question regarding himself and his gorgeous creations.

His workshop

His workshop

The Harry Darsono Museum only takes private groups from 8 to 12 people. People are encouraged to dress in plain colors because Mr. Darsono allows us to wear his creations!!
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Perfect Hand-Made Stitching

Perfect Hand-Made Stitching

 

The visit is personalized and includes either a light brunch or high-tea with Mr. Darsono. This experience will be a very memorable one and I can say it has marked my time in Jakarta in the most fashionable way!

 
Harry Darsono Museum
Jl. Cilandak Tengah 1/71,
South Jakarta.
Viewings by appointment (tel. 7668553).

9 thoughts on “The Harry Darsono Museum: Indonesian Inspiration, Glamourous Genius

  1. Thank you for a fabulous post…Mr Darsono looks so sweet and I love his style too…the long black socks are a classic :-)

    • To be honest I didn’t know about him until I moved here and a friend mentioned him. It was so insightful and fun I would love to do it again!! He certainly is very gracious and kind.

  2. Hi, Ana,

    Love the photos. So beautiful. And the clothes, too. Magnificent.

    We are collecting hats this Christmas. Any chance you have a beautiful hat photo from this series that aren’t used? We want to feature it on our A Hat Day – Hatter’s Paradise. We are looking for original HAT photos.:D

    xoxo D

    ps. replied to your facebook message

    • It was absolutely fabulous! I loved visiting the museum! I have to check my files but I don’t think I have a picture of a Hat by itself…. =( I saw your message. I will send it to you soon! ;)

  3. Pingback: {Jakarta} Maritime Museum | Stumble Abroad

  4. A real pleasure visiting this wonderful place full with a great display of the work of Mr.Darsono and his geniality.

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