JFW 2014: An Exhilarating Day at Indonesia Fashion Forward

So far, my first experience at Jakarta Fashion Week is turning out to be as incredibly exhausting and hugely rewarding at the same time. I’m having a really good time checking out shows, and I was so pleased that I got to witness shows from the chosen participants of the Indonesia Fashion Forward (IFF) program.The IFF is basically an incubation initiative — a catalyst, if you will — established by the JFW council and The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Indonesia, The British Council, and Center for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) London. Labels are carefully selected by the panel of industry professionals and then guided as they take shots to sell their collection overseas.

The IFF shows were split into three segments to reflect specific target markets and price points. Let’s start with the Premium Ready To Wear lines!

Major Minor

The triumvirate of designers behind this label have come up with a collection called Wanderlust, and it did indeed evoke a sense of desire to journey elsewhere — mostly to lush, humid rainforests, thanks to its colorful jungle-themed prints. Ari Seputra, Ambar Pratiwi, and Inneke Margarethe have created silhouettes on lightweight, airy materials that correspond to one’s human need to navigate uncharted waters and step foot on virgin forests. They’ve managed to keep the cultural Indonesian aspect into the mix to keep the designs contemporary without losing touch of their centuries-old origins, like implementing Batik Van Zuylen motifs and prints (for the uninitiated, this is a type of batik named after the Dutchwoman who founded it in colonial-era Indonesia).

Friederich Herman

Friederich Herman has not strayed from his classic combination of square shoulders interspersed with bright colors for his JFW 2014 collection. This is another collection that is basically a love letter to the ’80s, further underlined by the pointed, brightly-lit shoes that go with the outfit. I will forever be amazed at this man’s ability to create women’s clothing that is so strong at the shoulders but still does not add boxy heaviness to the silhouette. Just who is his muse, Katharine Hepburn or something?

Jeffry Tan

This one was the first collection that contained pretty obvious hits and misses: the geometric fish scale paneling on the jackets (and the outerwear in general) was something I fell in love pretty hard for, but (unfortunately) the rest of the collection fell a little bit flat. This sort of upset me because I’m really rooting for this designer and label. While I really liked the idea of deconstructing outfits by repurposing buttons and zippers, the choice of materials and stitching may not have been the right ones to make for the look. Everything just sort of looked messy in the end, and it took plenty of restraint to keep me from reaching out to the runway to readjust seams and necklines.