The Fashion Diplomacy of Yukari Sunaga

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

As an ambassador’s wife, Yukari Sunaga has been living around the globe following her husband’s work in the diplomatic world. Arriving in Jakarta in 2016, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to ASEAN immediately became renowned among Indonesia’s diplomatic community as well as Indonesian society. With her warm personality and an amazing jazz singing talent, Yukari has mesmerised everyone she’s met.

Aside from her personality and talent, Yukari is also known as a fashionable lady who dares to wear quirky dresses made of antique kimonos that are a part of her mother and grandmother’s collection to recycling materials that are turned into a conceptual dress. She shares some of her most iconic dresses with Indonesia Design and we are honoured to feature it in this edition of design focus. Fashion is indeed one of the best universal languages and Yukari did a fantastic job sharing her country’s uniqueness through her approach to doing fashion diplomacy.

Indonesia Design would also like to bid a fond farewell to ambassador Kazuo Sunaga and his lovely wife Yukari Sunaga. We wish them all the best to their next posting in Doha, Qatar.


Created by Japanese designer Saiwai Sisters, this dress is made from thousands of used drug packaging. The designer also made a matching headpiece and a stunning gigantic ring of a shoe called Cinderella ring.


Created by Yoko Imamura, this jacket is made from an obi. Yukari matched this obi with a black dress designed by Noriko Atsuji and a pair of geta (Japanese footwear) by Kuroda Shouten.


Created by Japanese designer Saiwai Sisters, this dress is made from a mixed material of fabrics, plastics and adorned with mini discs and CDs that Yukari Sunaga once used to learn how to sing. The dress also comes with a neckpiece and a ring in a similar concept.


An inheritance from Yukari Sunaga’s mother’s collection, she wears this kimono upside down and made it into this unique look with help on an obi. The neckpiece is made from an antique comb that is turned into a choker and it is designed by Saiwai Sisters.


An upcycled obi that is turned into this contemporary-looking kimono is designed by Japanese designer Chie Arakawa. The neckpiece is also an upcycled antique Indonesian comb made by Saiwai Sisters.


Another collection of Yukari Sunaga that came from her mother’s antique collection. She matches this look with an incredible accent of a neckpiece from bubble crystals made by Saiwai Sisters.


This amazing evening gown features a bustier look that is decorated with antique hakama (traditional Japanese men’s pants) which comes from Yukari Sunaga’s mother’s collection. Another great work of Saiwai Sisters comes in the form of a big brooch called Thunder God to give the final accent to the overall look.

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Erza S.T.
Erza has pursued his great passion for opera and classical music for over a decade. His brainchild, the Indonesia Opera Society, has produced many classical music concerts and operas, and recently marked its 10th anniversary with a gala production. He is also a journalism lover focusing on luxury, lifestyle and travel stories, which he files from datelines around the globe.
Bagus Tri Laksono