Everyone in Jakarta is switched on and always searching for the newest place, trend or idea, but some of Indonesia’s best creative types are so ahead of the pack they have discovered the new thing is getting out of the city altogether — and setting up shop in the laid-back city of Bandung in West Java.
The Jakartans’ weekend favorite is probably best known for its outlet shops, where you can score big deals on international brand names, but over the years it has created an artistic ecosystem that doesn’t suffer from the distractions and rules of Jakarta.
There is always a new venture starting in Bandung and, this week, I decided to highlight a couple of my personal favorites. The next time you find yourself in town looking for deals on jeans or last season’s styles, scout these guys out for some new and original products.
These guys make amazingly soft shirts and other basics that are sure to find a place in your everyday life.
I have multiple solid-color V-necks from these guys and they are the perfect uniform for casual weekends. Toscavica also makes simple and comfortable separates for girls and guys.
Another bonus of the basic designs is you can really see the quality of the craftsmanship and materials.
The Toscavica flagship store is located on the bustling Jalan Riau between two large outlet warehouses. The stylish store, called the Widely Project, can’t be missed.
In addition to finding a huge stash of Toscavica creations, you’ll also see a curated selection of Indonesian designers’ work to clothe the whole family, jewelry, home goods and other knick-knacks.
I first saw Kandura’s whimsical ceramic animal rings at Salihara and quickly became obsessed. I was quite pleased to discover this co-op of artists produced so much more including other jewelry and home items such as bowls and mugs.
I once asked Kandura cofounder Tisa Granicia why they stayed in Bandung: she said the atmosphere was more liberating and that everyone felt more artistic and creative there.
One of my favorite things about Kandura is its many collaborations with new artists. To me, it’s great to see artists helping other artists in such a cutthroat industry.
It’s also great because I own a bunch of awesome handmade mugs now. And I keep adding to this mismatching collection.
My friend Cat rocks a statement necklace like a pro but there is one that is always commented on: a large wood-and-metal piece (Once it was described as a cool garlic-chopper used by hipsters) by the bright and fun Kidnapped Ally.
In addition to their eye-catching statement jewelry (as if they needed more), Kidnapped Ally makes clothes that are youthful and hip. I like to wear Kidnapped Ally for a night out because of the clothes’ cut, colors and print; you look like you’re going to be good at partying, and even if you aren’t really good at partying, you’re going to be comfortable no matter what the night brings.
Is MIA your style icon? Do you live everyday like Coachella? You’re welcome.