Harry Darsono Museum In Jakarta ☆ Indonesian Fashion Designer

If you love fashion to any degree, you would probably love an opportunity to meet one of the successful fashion designers in the world. My Indonesian Heritage Society group went to Harry Darsono Museum for our activity this month. (Our group’s first trip was to Roemah Djawa) Harry Darsono is an haute couture originally from Surabaya, Indonesia. Having gone to the tour without any prior knowledge except for knowing that he was a very well-known Indonesian fashion designer, I was quite stunned to find out all of Harry Darsono’s personal history before he became a designer.

He commenced a tour explaining his background and we learned that he suffered from nerve issues as a child and had to switch schools 4 times as schools could not handle him for his very aggressive behaviors. Then one day, something happened to his nerve system and he lost his ability to speak. He did not speak a word for 18 years according to him.

Harry Darsono recounted that he used spinning, sawing and stitching as means of his therapy. His work which is displayed all over his home is all hand-made and hand-stitched and the details made with needle are unbelievable as you could see in the photo above. Harry Darsono says he only needs to sleep for one or two hours a day, which is one of the symptoms that people with his type of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have. Instead of sleeping, he worked and produced one of a kind dresses.

If you would like to learn more about his life story and what he does, here are some write-ups seen in Magazine People and a blog Adventures in Indonesia.


Not only do you see his talent in designing, but also in many other fields and painting is one of them.

One thing that struck me which he mentioned repeatedly to our group during the tour is that he didn’t believe in talent. He believes in hard work, dedication and determination and they are the key to a success. He told us to learn from the mistakes you make. I found those words very encouraging and insightful.

Have you ever experienced a moment where you felt that you met a genius? Meeting Harry Darsono at his home museum was like that. I think that Harry Darsono lives in a completely different world from mine. I’m on the ground and he’s up in the air. Through my observation at Harry Darsono’s museum, eccentricity seems to be what brought him to a success. He is truly gifted. Now I feel like I am not even sure if I know what fashion is after my visit at Harry Darsono Museum.

This is a photo of myself in a red jacket and a black hat, an outfit I got four the tour.

Today is Monday and yes, it is the day of a week for my Monday Mode (if you know what that is)! Today instead of showing photos of my style, I decided to tell you about the visit I had at an Indonesian fashion designer’s home. That is more exciting for you to see, I’m sure! I hope you could grasp what it was like to be at the Museum through my photos.

Thank you, my Indonesian Heritage Society group and Harry Darsono, for the opportunity to have a fashion experience. Thank you for visiting!!


  1. says

    His artwork, as well as his personal story, is amazing! It’s great that you have such wonderful opportunities to see different thing and meet interesting people in Indonesia! But it’s definitely because you reach out for them yourself – that’s your part, Kaho!

    • says

      Yumi, you’re so sweet. Thank you!! I love being overseas because of the rare opportunities that are out there for foreigners especially in a hardship post.

  2. says

    Wow this is fascinating Kaho, I am sure it was a very interesting visit and some of those creations really are stunning. Good for you, you had the opportunity to meet such an interesting and talented designer!

  3. says

    p.s. I also find his words about talent very encouraging , that means that whatever we want to do, we can do it with commitment, dedication and hard work, you can agree with him or not, but for sure is very insightful!

  4. says

    Pretty amazing stuff. I can’t believe all that beading. Thanks for the tour!

    I like the bit about the hard work and practice. That makes sense to me.

  5. says

    Very interesting post and great photos Kaho, really enjoy all the designs and his life story, will read up more about this interesting/eccentric character!!

  6. says

    What a fantastic life story and incredible work. Thank you for sharing that here with us, Kaho. I do think you need talent – that’s the gift part. True, hard work is needed for sure….but talent? That piece that makes the magic happen? I do believe that needs to be there as well. We just need to search within ourselves to figure out exactly what those gifts and talents are.

    much love,

    ps: thank you for your kind words – always. And that lamp you asked about is from…ikea!

    • says

      That’s true. I interpreted that the hard work, determination and dedication will bring the talent to the surface, but without these commitments even if you have talent, it would not blossom.

  7. says

    Wow, he sounds SO interesting and like such a neat person. I totally believe in talent though, and he’s got it. His story is fascinating! I was thinking at the beginning how I’d want to try on all of this things and then you got to!

  8. Maria says

    Great post Kaho!!!!! And thank you so much for posting this…I was desperately waiting :) it’s really nice. You must have had a great time…and your pictures weren’t bad at all! Harry Darsono’s childhood life sounds so inspiring! My mom’s picture is funny but nice…I’m kinda’ jealous though…she got to wear late lady diana’s “real crown.” Have fun blogging! Maria

    • says

      Thanks, Maria, for visiting and leaving such a nice comment! I was stoked to wear late Diana’s real crown, but after seeing the photos, I realized that Harry was holding it above the head. :)

  9. says

    Thanks always for the sweet comments Kaho. What you post today is precious! I didn’t even know there was a Harry Darsono museum or he even makes cool English lady hats! Nevertheless the story behind his success…(I’ll remember that talent is just the 0,…% part of it) Thank you for sharing all of that. I’m interested on the Indonesian Heritage Society also… I wonder can Indonesians join too? (*blush of embarrassment)

    • says

      Yes, there are Indonesian members. It’s open to any nationalities!! You shouldn’t be embarrassed! If there is a Japanese Heritage Society in Japan (there isn’t as far as know) and if we ever move there, I would love to be a member! :)

  10. says

    What an awesome tour and what an awesome man! I would love to know more about the Indonesian Heritage Society Kaho. It sound like a lot of fun. What are the activities and how often? How does one join and what are the fees? Very interested!

  11. says

    I am in awe of Harry Darsono’s fabulous dresses, truly I believe you when you say he must be a genius although I don’t think I have ever met a genius.. not yet!

  12. sri (he called me anastasia ) says

    thanks kaho for all the photos, its fabolous angle you shoot!. mas Harry is one of my teacher (tough teacher) that open my eyes about life. he really believe in hard working than talent or give it and until now in his age he is still work hard and enjoyed what he doing. what amazing about him that after 17 years I contac him and he still remember me (I was one of his student) wow how amazing his memory. and he is still my teacher, my boss and my friend.

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