Footnotes from the Front Row: JFW 2016, Day 4

Year after year, one of the most coveted invitations during the Jakarta Fashion Week is the pass to Obin’s show. Always considered herself a fabric artist instead of a fashion designer, Obin would send her models dancing and sashaying on the runway attired lusciously in her intricate and inventive fabrics, with melodious vintage songs of the homeland as her loving tribute to Indonesia.

Her shows tend to tear up people—myself once or twice. But it started feeling formulaic last year, so I’m pleased that this year she inducted a thumping street dance sequence as a new element. As for the collection itself, it was still within the brand DNA of recognizable classic silhouettes and urban twists on rich Indonesian heritage fabrics. While being very aware that Obin has been very comfortable where she’s at for a while now, I dare myself to hope that next year she might still surprise us.

Another time-honored tradition of Jakarta Fashion Week is the return of previous finalists of Lomba Perancang Mode (LPM)– the fashion design competition started by The Femina Group, JFW’s organizer, all the way back in 1979. The former finalists are selected by JFW’s Fashion Council of the year, where I (drumroll…) have been fortunate to made a member this year. Who are the other members? This year, in addition to editors-in-chief of lifestyle media, JFW organizer included celebrated fashion blogger, seasoned fashion photographer, and urban lifestyle columnist that is yours truly.

Out of the dozens of former finalists of LPM for the past several years we picked Cynthia Tan (3rd place, 2011), Iwan Amir (semifinalist, 2011) and Natalia Kiantoro (finalist, 2013) to return to JFW’s runway this year. Pleased to note that both Natalia and Iwan showed coherently conceptual collections, though they couldn’t have been more different in executions.

Called “Alter Ego”, Natalia Kiantoro alternated between the stark contrasts of black and white in a series of easy urban pieces that would sell well among the well-heeled creative types.

Iwan Amir, on the other hand, was inspired by the traditional art motifs of Bontang (E. Kalimantan), which was implemented through batik technique on cotton and neoprene. That fresh twist got him ahead of the other showing designers, and thus earned him the LPM Entrepreneurship Award granted as the LPM Graduates show concluded later in the evening. This award, granted by the renowned fashion education center Instituto Marangoni in Milan, entitles him to a short course of international fashion business. Congratulations, Iwan!

As usual, for snapshots, videos or impromptu commentaries please check out @lyndaibrahim (Twitter) or @lyndaibr (IG).  The fashion week is halfway through, babes!

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