Bandung's Modest Fashion Scene Has Lofty Goals

Bandung's Modest Fashion Vision 2018 was launched at the city once known as the 'Paris of Java' on Tuesday (19/12). (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

By : Sylviana Hamdani | on 12:10 PM December 21, 2017
Category : Life & Style, Fashion & Beauty

Bandung. Bandung's city administration launched its "Bandung's Modest Fashion Vision 2018" at the city's Click Square on Tuesday (19/12) as part of its effort to establish the city as a center of modest fashion — a term used for clothing that conceals rather than accentuates the shape of the body — in Indonesia.

"Bandung has always been an important fashion center in Indonesia," Kenny Dewi Kaniasari, head of the tourism and culture division of Bandung's city administration, said during the press conference. "We want to support Indonesia's goal to become a center of modest fashion in Asia in 2018 and in the world in 2020."

The city administration, in collaboration with the Bandung chapter of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber (IFC) and Muslim fashion school Islamic Fashion Institute (IFI), will set up a detailed plan to try to achieve that goal.

Included in the plan is the Bandung Fashion Week 2018, which will be the first ever fashion week to be held in the city, known in Dutch colonial times as the "Paris of Java."

Modest wear will be one of the highlights during the fashion week.

"Bandung is a comprehensive fashion ecosystem," Kenny said. "In this city, we have textile factories, garment factories, fashion designers and a lot of very stylish people," Kenny said. "Bandung Fashion Week will be a good event to pull all those stakeholders together and get them to work toward one goal."

The exact date and place for the Bandung Fashion Week 2018 are still being discussed by the city's tourism and culture agency.

The agency is also arranging special travel packages for tourists from other Southeast Asian countries to help grow its modest wear industry.

"A lot of Malaysian and Singaporean tourists have been coming to Pasar Baru [in Bandung] to buy textiles, hijabs (head scarves) and dresses," Kenny said. "We have to capitalize on that and get more tourists from neighboring countries to visit Bandung, not only to Pasar Baru, but also to other fashion and accessories centers in the city."

Bandung is also well-known for its "shoes district" in Cibaduyut, jeans center in Cihampelas and factory outlets on Jalan Riau and Jalan Dago.

"[The Fashion Vision] is a commendable step from the city government," said Deden Siswanto, a designer, member of Bandung IFC and co-founder of IFI.

"I think all the elements are there already [to implement the vision]. We've already got Indonesia's first Islamic fashion college. The foundation is there," Deden said.

After the press conference, eight local modest fashion designers were given a chance to showcase their mini collections on the catwalk.

One of them, Aninda Nazmi, presented a collection called Lamina ("layer" in Latin), comprising five ready-to-wear outfits for women made of linen and silk organza. Created with asymmetrical layers and subdued monochromatic hues, Aninda's creations looked both modern and elegant.

Irna Mutiara's collection meanwhile is inspired by South Korean women's traditional attire called hanbok. Using handwoven textile from Majalaya, a weaving center in southeastern Bandung, Irna created colorful hanbok-inspired blouses, which she paired with multi-layered full skirts for graceful, feminine looks.

Irna Mutiara's hanbok-inspired modest wear. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani) Irna Mutiara's hanbok-inspired modest wear. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Another designer, Nuniek Mawardi, presented a collection called Cangkuang, inspired by the eighth-century Hindu temple of the same name in Garut, West Java, around 100 kilometers south of Bandung.

Nuniek showcased A-line dresses, mullet tops and structured overcoats inspired by the unique Shivaist architecture of the Cangkuang Temple. The extensive use of Tenun Garut (Garut woven cloths) on the outfits also gave them a unique, embossed texture.

"I'm very happy with this event," Nuniek said. "Bandung has always been a trendsetter in Indonesian fashion. Now we can help build Indonesia's reputation as a center of world Muslim fashion."

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