Footnotes from the Front Row: JFW 2016, Day 5

Almost in a blink, half of JFW 2016 is gone already. If it weren’t for my beat up legs and going-down-faster-than-the-ozone level of energy I wouldn’t believe myself that we’re on Day 5 by now.

As it typically happens, the shows are getting better as Jakarta Fashion Week goes by. Today’s shows just proved that.

Day 5 opened strong with Indonesia’s fashion designers association IPMI presenting 5 of their big talents (Carmanita, Yongki Budisutisna, Danny Satriadi, Tuty Cholid, Mel Ahyar) under the big nationalistic theme given the day, October 28, being our national day for unity in diversity. Inevitably, the designers drew on our traditional fabrics and history as inspirations, creating flurry of bold motifs and vibrant colors throughout the show.

Drawing from Cirebon batik and Yogyakarta lurik, Danny Satriadi continued on the magical Oriental look that he’s been featuring under Arkamaya label since, if my memory served me well, Bazaar Fashion Festival last year—making this, including the previous JFW, as the 3rd time the direction is explored. Don’t get me wrong, the idea is grand and the executions so far are eye-arresting— a collection of showstoppers that make you feel you must host a lavish dinner for dignitaries at ancient temples to justify wearing them– yet I hope Danny would venture out on his next show.

Yongki Budisutisna seemed to have channeled Javanese batik and the unapologetically vivacious handwoven textile of Bima (W. Nusa Tenggara) on a jewel-toned collection. I just wish, and this is coming from a boho chick who never stops loving the ‘70s style, that Yongki would’ve not interpreted peasant skirts quite so literally.

A nod is earned by Mel Ahyar, who paid homage to our unsung, pre-independence heroes. She continued on her path of well-composed heritage motifs printed on transparent organza, putting them into a military silhouette that was rounded up nicely by the scene-stealing visors styled by her trusted stylist Thornandes James. As I was watching the show I suddenly thought how wild it could be if Mel would take on obscure Papuan tribes for her next collection.

The next bang came from Didi Budiardjo, one of Indonesia’s longest-creating designers, whose 30-year body of work was exhibited at Museum Tekstil earlier this year. Didi comes from the school of old masters who wrap women in their creations to be unquestionably beautiful. Femininity and elegance, without falling trap to frilliness, was clear from the parade of fully-skirted, floral, sometimes pastel ballgowns, including the one modeled by former MTV VJ Nadya Hutagalung as finale, throughout the show. Watching closely from the front row I couldn’t have helped feeling that a little splash of graceful beauty somehow rubbed off on me when the show concluded.

The next show was a solid presentation from 3 rising stars, the potential future masters, of Indonesian fashion scene. While Sapto Djojokartiko tried his hand on a new, more accessible as he put it, RTW label named Todjo, which showed easy urban pieces in blues with mass appeal, Peggy Hartanto and Albert Yanuar pretty much stayed within their signature styles.

Albert’s bridal gowns were as angelic, and one winged even, with the only difference of him not showing a detachable piece that usually ended his show.  The trace of Peggy’s signature tulip remained seen on the runway while fin-inspired shape, in contrasting blue & orange shades, took central stage. It was heartwarming and disheartening at the same time to see the collection, knowing that, as it stands today, it will probably become the most copied clothing online before even the real collection went retail next spring.

Cleo Fashion Awards were awash with youthful energy, as usual. And, again, I’m at odds with the jurors (not that it would change anything, but hey) on one of the winners. I felt that the Bali-based label PaulinaKatarina successfully juxtaposed islandwear with urban sensibility, not to mention made a perfect spring-summer ensembles, and thus more deserved to win for the Best Local Brand award. However, for the Most Promising Accessories Brand award, I must agree that Byo did showcase one of the most unique—material and technique—pieces one could find nowadays, hence deserved the prize.

Now, while I’m trying to steal some much-needed shuteye, feel free to peruse @lyndaibrahim (Twitter) or @lyndaibr (IG) for snapshots, videos, or impromptu commentaries. Two days to go, babes!

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