Many of them may find it hard to get slotted into major fashion events, and even if they do get a chance, they tend to be eclipsed by more popular designers.
Luckily, these fresh young talents now have access to a platform to showcase their creativity at the Indonesia Creative Week (ICW).
The ICW is a bi-annual event to highlight new local fashion products.
“We want to feature new Indonesian designers, whose works are often overshadowed by those of the more famous ones in major fashion events,” says Faizullah Darwis Sofyan, the ICW founder.
“We want to show that their works are just as excellent and neat as those of their seniors.”
The event consists of a series of fashion shows, talk shows and a bazaar — all entirely local — and is held twice a year in Jakarta in line with the international fashion cycles of spring/summer and fall/winter.
“We hope that in the future, the event will be a trendsetter in the country’s fashion industry,” Faizullah says.
The event venue changes each time.
The inaugural ICW, themed “Creativity U,” was held at Epicentrum Walk in Kuningan, South Jakarta, in December 2012. That event featured 28 brands by local fashion designers.
The second ICW, titled “Me: Indonesia,” took place at Kota Kasablanka, also in the Kuningan area, was held in June last year, highlighting 65 local fashion brands. ICW then followed up with “Fashionation” at the Grand Indonesia mall in November, upping the number of fashion brands to 80.
This year, the event will be held at the Gandaria City mall in South Jakarta from Wednesday through Saturday.
Themed “Svarna Khatulistiwa” (“Colors of the Equator”), the event will present 110 local brands.
“Most of these new fashion brands can only afford to sell via Instagram, Facebook, or their own websites,” says Managaindra, the ICW creative director. “Even then, it’s hard for them to get customers, as very few people know about them.
“So we want to highlight them and their products to the public at this event. When the people see the quality and workmanship of their products in person, they will be confident about ordering from them in the future.”
But not all new fashion labels can participate in this event. The organizer carefully curates their work as well as the popularity of the labels in their social circles.
“[The participants] are new brands, yet very chic and trendy,” Managaindra says. “And they already have thousands of followers on their sites.”
The fourth ICW will open with a fashion show by veteran designer Poppy Dharsono.
Poppy, the co-founder of the Indonesian Fashion Designers Association (APPMI), is known for her elegant batik dresses and suits. The 62-year-old will present her spring/summer 2014 collection at the ICW opening show.
A talk show by Indonesian born, Zurich-based designer Farah Angsana will also highlight the opening day.
Hailing from Medan, North Sumatra, Farah has now become a darling of the world’s fashionistas. Her collections frequently feature at prestigious fashion weeks in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. Among her clientele are American actresses Anne Hathaway and Alicia Silverstone, and country music singer Carrie Underwood.
Farah’s talk show will aim to inspire and encourage young Indonesian designers to be excellent in their work and strive for international success.
Another top event on the opening day is a fashion parade by the young designer Roy Mulyanto, presenting his spring/summer 2014 collection “Bali Touch.”
“The collection is in line with the theme of the event, Svarna Khatulistiwa,” Roy says. “It’s going to be vibrant, colorful and avant-garde.”
Roy, who studied fashion design in Esmod and LaSalle International College Jakarta, uses a lot of Balinese lame material for this collection. The hand-woven textile, made of silver and golden threads, gleams beautifully under the lights.
“[With Balinese lame], the dresses will look glamorous, even without any beads or sequins,” says the Solo-born designer, who recently opened a boutique in Cideng Barat, Central Jakarta.
Roy’s works will also be presented at the fashion bazaar in the Skeeno Hall in Gandaria City during the ICW.
There will also be a series of talk shows and musical performances to accompany the fashion bazaar and shows at the Skeeno Hall.
The talk shows will touch on interesting topics, such as fashion styling tips and entrepreneurship. Visitors can also sample local delicacies by 20 Indonesian restaurants taking part in the bazaar.
On the final day, young Indonesian designer Cristian Hallenwarth will present his debut collection, “Mono-Fabulous.”
Inspired by the 56th Grammy Awards ceremony, the 22-year-old designer will present elegant monochromatic evening gowns that would befit the red carpet.
“Personally, I love watching red-carpet events,” says Cristian, who has German and Portuguese heritage. “I think the women look very graceful.”
Cristian, who mainly showcases his works on Instagram, uses a lot of velvet for his evening gown collection.
“Velvet accentuates women’s feminine curves,” says the LaSalle International College Jakarta graduate. “Besides, the fabric feels nice and smooth against the skin.”
Another young designer, Selphie Usagi, will present her spring/summer 2014 collection “Bon Voyage.”
For the collection, Selphie was inspired by the international landmarks that she saw during her recent travels to Europe and United States.
The designer uses a lot of hand-woven songket and jacquard in this collection.
“Through my collection, I want to show that traditional fabrics, such as songket, can also go international,” says Selphie, who also went to LaSalle and Esmod in Jakarta.
Selphie, who started sketching gowns and dresses when she was just 9 years old, has participated at the ICW since the first show back in 2012.
“The ICW has helped to boost the popularity of my collections,” she says, citing her recently opened boutique in Setiabudi, South Jakarta. “I also get to meet a lot of potential clients.”
At this week’s event, organizers will also launch the ICW Store, a web store that displays and sells the latest collections by rising Indonesian designers who have participated in the ICW.
“We’re trying to combine the online [selling] and offline event [ICW] in the web store,” says Andika, the web store’s marketing officer. “We want to raise awareness of new local brands, as well as highlight the creativity of our young fashion designers.”
The online store, accessible at indonesiacreativeweek.com, showcases an array of dresses by young local designers and also features information about their upcoming and past events, as well as fashion-related news and style tips.
“[The ICW web store] is going to be a one-stop fashion destination,” Andika says.
All the events and shows at the upcoming ICW are open to public for free, organizers say.
“It’s going to be fun and very exciting.” Faizullah says. “You’re going to see a lot of new fashionable items and meet a lot of young creative people in the event. So let’s be there from day one.”
For more information, check out indonesiacreativeweek.com