The Fashion Festival Bali (FFB), hosted by Australian creative agency The M Group, is a platform for fashion designers in the Pan Pacific region to showcase their collections to international buyers and customers. (The Peak Photo/Sylviana Hamdani)

Region's Fashionistas to Descend on Bali

AUGUST 11, 2015

Jakarta. Bali, Indonesia's island of the gods, has hosted a cornucopia of national and international events for years. Coming up this week, the island will host another significant event for fashionistas, the Fashion Festival Bali.

FFB is organized by Australian creative agency The M Group. The annual event aims to provide a platform for fashion designers in the Pan Pacific region to showcase their collections to international buyers and customers.

"Bali holds a special charm on various levels," said Nicholas Meimaris, chief executive of The M Group. "Its culture, beauty, creativity and evolution are second to none.”

Meimaris, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, fell in love with Bali quite some time ago.

"Like many Australians, Bali has been like a second home to me. I've been traveling to Bali for over 15 years now."

Meimaris launched the first FFB on the island in August 2013. The debut event featured swank ready-to-wear labels from Australia, Indonesia and neighboring countries, such as Gnossem from Singapore, Hong Kong's Triangl, Bare from Australia and Uluwatu Lace from Bali.

The first event, held at the Stones Hotel in Legian, Bali, attracted over 5,000 local and international fashion forward visitors throughout the week.

The 2014 FFB, again hosted by the Stones Hotel, featured top names in the industry, including Jakarta's couture designer Priyo Octaviano, Bali's top designer Ali Charisma, Australian glam swimwear label Wild Orchid Australia and Singapore's chic women's label Y by Yann. The event grew to welcome over 6,000 people fashionistas from Asia and Australia.

Now in its third year, FFB promises even more spectacular runway showcases and side events at the brand new Trans Resort Bali in Kerobokan, Seminyak, from August 15 to 22. The new resort is chosen to host the event due to its strategic location.

"The Trans Resort is really central," said Meimaris. "It's where the fashion crowd is in Seminyak."

The new resort, officially opening in late September, is ready for the fashion event.

"We feel honored to have been chosen as the main venue of the event," said Andes Natalin, assistant director of sales of the Trans Resort. "Our grand ballroom is ready to accommodate this great fashion event."

According to Andes, the ballroom has 10-meter-high ceilings and can accommodate up to 1,100 people in one show.

This year, the event seeks to combine fashion and tourism.

“The fashion festival invites all our audiences not just to come and see the shows, but also to embrace the week to treat yourself by all senses, by food, by spas, by entertainment and by destinations,” said Meimaris. “It’s not one-dimensional at all.”

The event kick starts with a series of luncheons and spa treatments at various top restaurants and spas in Seminyak, Bali, from Aug. 15 to 19. During the luncheons, participating fashion designers will offer a preview of their collections.

The gala fashion shows will start from Aug. 20 to 22 at the Trans Resort Bali.

Among the top names from Indonesia are Dimas by Dimas Dwitanto, Danjyo Hiyoji by Dana Maulana and Syarifah Liza Mashita, Ikat Indonesia by Didiet Maulana and Isis by Andrea Risjad and Amot Syamsuri Muda.

For FFB 2015, Danjyo Hiyoji will present its latest collection themed Salila — a sanskrit word meaning ocean waves.

"Like the ocean waves, life is never static," said Syarifah Liza Mashita.

According to Liza, the whole collection is inspired by the traditional Bugis culture from South Sulawesi.

"The [Bugis] culture recognizes five genders, which are men living as men, men living as women, women living as women, women living as men, and asexual people," said Liza.

"The philosophy is that all our clothes can be worn by everyone," said Liza, a co-founder of Danjyo Hiyoji.

“We hope that the event will open an opportunity for us to set up a store in Bali,” said Liza. It will be the first time the brand has participated in FFB.

Danjyo Hiyoji is also planning to launch an online store in September.

Isis’ creative director, Amot Syamsuri Muda, is also very excited for the label's upcoming show at the fashion festival.

“For us, it’s like going back home,” said Amot. Few people know that the fashion label began in Bali in 2010.

For their show at FFB 2015, Isis will present their newest collection centered around a city theme.

"We think it's interesting to bring the city style to Bali," said Amot, an alumnus of Lasalle College of Arts, Singapore. The ready-to-wear collection offers chic monochromatic pieces and easy-to-wear items for men and women.

“It will be very light and simple,” said Amot.

Isis’ new collection is a development of their spring/summer 2015 collection, which was showcased in the Jakarta Food and Fashion Festival (JFFF) earlier this year.

Ikat Indonesia will present its special collection for the FFB 2015, which is themed 'The Poetry of Flowers.'

"The collection will be very special," said Didiet Maulana. "In this collection, for the very first time, I combine materials and techniques from many different parts of Indonesia.”

“It is a huge event,” Didiet said. “So, I want all the visitors to see as many beautiful textiles from Indonesia as possible.”

Among the materials that Didiet uses for the new collection are the traditional handwoven fabrics from South Sumatara, the songket fabrics of Bali which feature gold and silver threading, stripe patterned textile known as lurik from Klaten, Central Java, and traditional embroideries from West Sumatara.

The fashion showcase for Ikat Indonesia, which will close up FFB 2015, also marks the fourth anniversary of the fashion label.

“It’s been an incredible journey for us so far,” said Didiet.

Didiet started the label in 2011 by chance. At the time, Didiet’s mom returned from a vacation in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, with beautiful handwoven fabrics from the island and urged her son to make dresses from them. Ever since Didiet has been infatuated with the beauty of Indonesia's traditional handwoven fabrics.

“I started very small, but I’m very happy to have been able to spread the love of Indonesian handwoven fabrics to today’s young generation,” said Didiet.

Other designers set to showcase their collections at FFB 2015 are Alice McCall from Australia, Dragonfly by Meilin Rohrer,  Heads of State Millinery from Singapore and Queenmark by Rajul Mehta.

Fifteen trade-buyers from Indonesia, Singapore and Dubai have confirmed their attendance to the event. The organizer expects around 8,000 visitors to come to the event this year and the primary target market is the fashion set from Jakarta.

"In Jakarta, I see style, affluence [and] intellectual people wanting to do things," said Meimaris. "[People in] Jakarta look to Bali like New York looks to the Hamptons."

The fashion event is free-of-charge upon registration at their website, www.thefashionfestival.com. This year, the organizer also provides a pop-up showroom at The Trans Resort Bali.

"So, people can purchase what they see on the runways," said Meimaris. "It's going to be inspiring and entertaining for consumers, exciting and engaging for travelers and creatively stimulating for our partners. There's something for everyone."

The Peak

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