Jazzing Up Modesty at Jakarta Fashion Week 2013

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Afia R Fitriati offers the scoop on next season’s Muslimah fashion trends as spotted at JFW 2013.

It’s that time of the year for one of Indonesia’s must-go fashion events: Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) 2013, which took place from 3 – 12 November 2012. While the rain washed over Jakarta that week, a rain of inspiration freshened the function hall of Plaza Senayan, the premier location where the fashion event was held.

November 8th was the much-awaited day for many fashion-forward hijabistas, as a parade of famous Muslim designers were scheduled to feature their creations on this day.

The first show featured the up-and-coming collections of veteran designers Itang Yunasz, Monika Jufry, Irna Mutiara and Elements by Ronald V Gaghana. The show was titled ‘Luxurious Modesty’, and it was interesting to see how each designer interpreted this theme and incorporated it into their designs.

Itang Yunasz brings his decades of experience in dressing up the faithful to the stage with clean-cut, floral satin silk pieces. They ooze with elegance without being overdone, nicely balancing luxury and modesty.

The collection of Monika Jufry then took the stage in a slightly different mood. The lapelled blazers and layering that dominate her runway will appeal to the younger generation of active women. Her two- and three-piece outfits offer versatility for women who have to travel straight from the boardroom to formal events.

Ronald V Gaghana, on the other hand, infuses his admiration for Moroccan and Chinese traditions into his collection through the incorporation of embroideries. Simple silhouettes make their appearance in tulle, silk, chiffon and satin fabrics with contrasting colours.

Irna Mutiara‘s interpretation of luxurious modesty is titled ‘The Canary’. Taking inspiration from the little feathered friend, her designs are light and feminine, complemented with pretty details like lace and scalloped edges. Her billowing dresses are fit for a princess, albeit a modest – not extravagant – one.

Overall, the Luxurious Modesty show was a total delight to the eyes. Next came the second show, by Muslim designers from the Association of Indonesian Fashion Designers and Entrepreneurs (APPMI), featuring the collections of seven design houses that cater to veiled-up ladies. One notable feature of this year’s JFW was that many of the participating designers – conventional as well as Islamic – incorporated Indonesia’s traditional fabrics into their designs in one way or another. It is heartening to see Indonesia’s traditional heritage come to life with a modern spin in so many creative ways.

Jeny Tjahyawati, for instance, playfully clashes silk and knit fabrics and combines it with the ethnic patterns from Flores, an island in the southern part of Indonesia. Defrico Audy, on the other hand, takes his inspiration from the layered dresses of Siberian women and accents it with West Sumatran songket fabric. Even Tuty Adib, who is famed for her lavish evening couture, chooses the ikat fabric to highlight her ensemble this time around.

So, does this inclination towards ethnic elements hint at a trend for Islamic fashion in 2013? Designer and fashion personality Dian Pelangi thinks so. ‘I think rich patterns and the tribal culture will rule in 2013,’ she told me at the show, adding that similar trends are also spotted in global brands such as Louis Vuitton and at the recent Islamic Fashion Festival in Kuala Lumpur.

Dian also thinks that turban-style hijabs, which go well with the tribal trend, will also dominate next year’s fashion scene. ‘The turban style can be a bit tricky to pull off for hijabis,’ she said. ‘But with the creative use of a scarf, for example, such a style can still be worn without exposing the chest area.’

Given the eclectic options of gorgeous shawls and statement necklaces presented at this year’s JFW, having ample chest covering shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Want more on 2013’s soon-to-be-hot looks and items? Check out three young up-and-coming designers!

All images courtesy of Jakarta Fashion Week

Don’t miss our coverage of JFW 2012!

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