Major Minor Maha collection presented at the 'Dewi Fashion Knights' show. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Modernism, Collaborations and Innovations at Jakarta Fashion Week


NOVEMBER 02, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Fashion Week culminated on Oct. 27 with the "Dewi Fashion Knights" show, featuring five of the most talked about labels in Indonesia's fashion industry this year: Hian Tjen, Major Minor Maha, Peggy Hartanto, Rani Hatta and Toton.

"The labels were selected by an independent team of Dewi [fashion magazine] editors and important stakeholders in the fashion industry," Dewi editor-in-chief Margaretha Untoro said during a press conference preceding the show.

The designers were asked to prepare a special collection themed "Modernism."

"It was a movement in the early 20th century that arose from the economical and political changes of the period. We believe it is still relevant today," Margaretha said.

Toton Januar, creative director of Toton, opened the most awaited show with his sassy punk-style women's wear collection, in which denim is deconstructed and made into baggy pants, tailored vests and jackets adorned with contrasting patchworks and zipper embellishments. Tulle is shredded and made into cute crop tops and mid-length skirts. Ankle boots decorated with shredded tulle reinforce the overall effect.

All the items presented were made of scraps and trimmings from Toton's own workshop.

"For me, modernism is how we respond to current problems and create solutions. In this era of increasing waste and pollution, I believe we have to learn to use what we have and litter less," he said.

Major Minor Maha presented a collection inspired by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French artist Henri Matisse.

"Their names came to my mind when I heard of 'Modernism' was the theme for DFK," said Ari Seputra, creative director of Major Minor Maha.

"The artists were very good friends and masters of modern art."

The collection is both quiet and elegant. Button-down shirts are tastefully adorned with asymmetrical lines and discreet ruffles. Pencil pants are embellished with elongated belts in contrasting colors that emphasize the models' shapely waists. Cut-out embellishments a la Matisse also decorate some of the items in the collection.

But it was Hian Tjen that stole the show that day. His evening wear collection, themed "Symmetrophilia," was both glamorous and avant-garde.

The 32-year-old presented body suits, mini dresses and elegant H-line evening gowns a la 1960s, all with elaborate acrylic and crystal appliqués.

The collections were received with long applause from the full-house audience.

But JFW is more than a series of fashion shows to wow fashion enthusiasts. The event is also a platform for creative innovations and collaborations between stakeholders in the industry.

Retail Collaboration

At this year's JFW, Matahari Department Store announced its new collaboration with three modest-wear designers: Norma Hauri, Rani Hatta and Restu Anggraini.

All three are alumni of the Indonesia Fashion Forward (IFF), an incubation program for talented Indonesian designers by JFW and the Centre for Fashion Excellence (CFE) in London.

"We're very proud to be able to collaborate with these highly talented young designers of the IFF program," said Imelda Like, head of marketing and fashion director of Matahari Department Store.

JFW 2018 creative director Ai Syarief, left,  Imelda Like, Norma Hauri, Restu Anggraini and Rani Hatta. (JG Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

"This collaboration is a good opportunity for the designers to understand the retail industry and expand their markets," JFW director Lenni Tedja said.

Matahari Department Store currently manages 154 stores in 71 cities in Indonesia. Sixteen of its outlets in Jakarta, Bogor, Semarang and other big cities will sell the collections of the IFF designers from November until mid-next year.

"We're adding 50 more outlets [to sell the collections] in February," Imelda said.

"I'm very excited about this collaboration. Many of my customers live outside Jakarta. Now they can get my dresses at Matahari Department Stores in their own cities," said Norma.

Norma presents elegant day-to-night outfits a la 1970s.

Rani's collection, on the other hand, takes on a more casual and sporty style.

"My collection for Matahari consists of t-shirts, jogger pants and denim and parka outerwear," Rani said.

Restu presents women's modest work wear, embellished with pleats and embroideries.

"We hope to collaborate with more designers in the future. We want to help Indonesia's fashion industry grow," Imelda said.

Digital Textile Printing

One of the most pressing problems for Indonesian designers is the scarcity of quality fabrics. Textile factories usually require a certain minimum amount order if designers ask them to print special textiles.

This becomes much easier now with Epson Indonesia's digital printing offer, which was presented to designers during JFW.

"Designers can now design their own textiles and have them printed with our printers. They can have them for a minimum order of one meter only," said Epson Indonesia manager Lina Mariani.

According to Lina, their printers can translate any image into textiles. However, the textiles should contain at least 50 percent of polyester.

Examples of the digital prints could be seen in Kami's and Danjyo Hiyoji's collections.

"I'm excited with the new digital textile printing technology," said Nadya Karina, creative director of Kami, which presented its spring/summer 2017 collection themed "Cacti." The collection features women's ready-to-wear pieces in earthy tones with adorable prints of cactus.

"It solves the problem of the limited fabric supply. And we can now freely express our ideas on the textiles and provide our customers with very exclusive patterns," Nadya said.

In the fashion show, Danjyo Hiyoji presented men's collection themed "Foray." The collection is made of asymmetrical t-shirts, jackets, shorts and loose-fitted pants with cartoon prints and colorful stripes.

"I'm very happy with the results. The prints are bold and the colors really stand out," said Dana Maulana, creative director of Danjyo Hiyoji.