Footnotes from the Front Row: JFW 2015, Day 2

First off, just in case you were wondering, I survived Day 1. That was 10 hours running around in 10-cm heels to attend 5 shows and correlating press conferences, thank you very much.

Which explains why Day 2 was for the fail-safe, height-appropriate Jimmy Choo pumps from their eponymous 24/7 collection (slightly rounded toe, 5-cm kitten heels). In fire engine red to match my lipstick, naturally.

Day 2 has kept quite a surprise for me.

First was how my high hopes for Esmod graduates generally fell flat along with the collections (yep, that included Klé). The only refreshing take came from Nobis Pacem’s deconstructed cuts, recycled materials and I-just-woke-up show. Algerry’s detachable drapes were clever, but you wouldn’t have expected less from Albert Yanuar’s 2nd line, now would you. Another interesting mention goes for the black platforms with golden ankle straps on Evelyn Francisca’s show, which I’m guessing isn’t a compliment fashion designers typically yearns for (You liked my show shoes? What about my clothes?).

In contrast, Grazia Glitz & Glam wasn’t such a yawning show. Surprise, surprise. This slot on JFW has typically been filled with what I’d politely describe as celebrities waking up one morning deciding that because they’ve been getting compliments on their put-up-by-stylists-anyway-wardrobe they should become fashion designers. Don’t get me wrong, Grazia show was always packed—what with each celeb commanding a sizable horde of fans and hangers-on– but is it fashion? The show that almost swore me off was one particularly horrible a few years back when I almost bolted out of my seat midway for I couldn’t digest any longer the sequence after sequence of concept-less costumes, NOT fashion, parading before us.

So, kudos to Grazia for the show this year. Each of the 4 celeb pairs managed to actually show a design concept, that red line connecting the whole collection. As for following the brief for eco-conscious collection, Daniel Mananta-Nowela Mikhelia’s organic cotton designs nailed it the most. Afgan-Pevita Pearce also showed a relatively strong line, though I wasn’t sure of how it was related to the eco concept. Olivia Jensen-Acha Septriasa’s sky-inspired collection was easy on the eye, and I liked the accessories, while Iwet Ramadhan-Andien Aisyah took the cake for throwing a feel-good, merry presentation with models in modern Madurese batik frocks dancing along the runway.

To perfectly cap Day 2 was the 3 Japanese designers straight from Japan Fashion Week. Motonari Ono had a memorable show on JFW 2014 and this year he returned solidly with great finishing techniques and delicate details. Somarta showed that he could make difficult fabric like brocade exciting, contemporary. Mannequins of Japon’s jackets and trench coats were well thought of, and absolutely well-tailored.

If anything, that was what these RTW designers from much more mature market could teach ours—a solid collection built on strong concept, made on highly-wearable materials, cut cleanly and sewn impeccably. Their JFW shows were never was much of a fanfare, but that isn’t important for the clothes already spoke so strongly on their own they left the attendees silently in awe and longing to own a piece or at least to touch it.

Pictures? Go to my Twitter feeds, dolls. I’m late for Day 3’s 1st press conference. Aaaaarrrrrgh!

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