Model, actress and now TV maven Kelly Tandiono talks to Tony Stanton about life thus far.
KELLY, Is it a rude question to ask: how tall are you?
Did you feel like a model when you were growing up?
No, in fact I was such a tomboy that I thought I was going to be an athlete.
How did you grow up?
I grew up living around the world. Studying and working as a model was the best experience.
When did the modeling scouts start to notice you?
When I was 14 years old while walking around the mall in Jakarta. And then again in Singapore while strolling down Orchard Road.
When did this career really start to happen for you?
It started in earnest when I was at university in Singapore. I was doing it as a part time job. And when I graduated I started travelling around the world and lived in many cities. I never thought I would fall in love with fashion, moreover a model.
I’m thinking you’ve probably seen quite a lot of the world . . .
I’ve travelled a lot since I was 14. I left Jakarta during the riots in ‘98 and went to Singapore. Studied there for a year then I left to Australia for boarding school. Finished my university in Singapore then I started travelling to Hong Kong, Taiwan, London, Berlin, Milan, Madrid. I was based in London mostly and lived there for two years. I’ve always loved traveling and have done since I was a child.
So where is home now?
Home for me now is Jakarta. People always ask me why I came back, but I’ve always known that eventually I would return. I believe in getting experience and knowledge from other places but you should never forget where your home is. And of course the fashion industry in Indonesia has completely changed but I still want to be a part of it.
Have you started designing your own line yet?
Actually yes, my friend Simona and I are doing some samples now. I hope everything will go well and we can get it up and running soon.
How about other Indonesian designers… who do you rate at the moment?
Well my favorite would be Biyan.
How would you describe your personal style?
Effortless, street, androgynous and comfortable.
How’s the acting going?
I recently won Best Actress from my last movie Negeri Tanpa Telinga. I have to thank director Lola Amaria for trusting me to play this role. And hopefully I will get to explore other roles. Especially action movies, comedy, drama and romance.
What’s next for Kelly?
Right now I’m focusing on my acting. It’s still something new to me. I’m also doing some travel shows with Trans TV and I’ve come to love that since I’m a natural traveller. I get to learn about my country and go to these amazing places I would have never known about or thought about exploring. Fashion will always be in my blood. I still love being a model and I would do it forever if it were possible, but there comes a time when one needs to look for new challenges, and that’s where the acting comes in.
Final image, Photo: Stephane Sensey.
Stylist: Karin Wijaya.
Dress: Denny Wirawan.
Make-up: Ifan Rivaldi.