Jakarta. "Ramadan Runway," a series of fashion shows and exhibitions by the Indonesian Fashion Designers and Fashion Entrepreneurs Association, or Appmi, officially opened at Kota Kasablanka shopping mall in South Jakarta on Friday (08/06).
"'Ramadan Runway' is one of the most-eagerly awaited fashion events in the country," Rudy Chandra, chairman of Appmi's Greater Jakarta chapter, told the Jakarta Globe. "The event brings favorite local brands and fashion lovers together. It also showcases Muslim fashion trends for Ramadan and Idul Fitri."
This year's event, themed "Fusion Ya Kareem," is Apmi's seventh.
"[The theme of the event] can be translated as peace and unity within diversity," Rudy said.
"As fashion designers and fashion entrepreneurs, we hope that there will be peace in Indonesia after the recent series of acts of terrorism.
"And we hope that there won't be any political upheaval next year in spite of the upcoming presidential election. With peace and unity, Indonesia's economy will easily take off."
The event opened with a parade of mini-collections by Appmi members.
Each designer presented two to four new looks in their collection.
Rudy presented a mini-collection themed "Romantic Rose."
"It's part of my spring/summer collection, which portrays roses blooming in a beautiful garden," he said.
The designer featured a glamorous tunic made from satin silk and overlaid with lace and brocade. The tunic was complemented with a pair of tailored palazzo pants.
Intricate embroideries, made by traditional artisans from Tasikmalaya in West Java, also adorned the tunic.
"I think it's my duty as a fashion designer to showcase Indonesia's rarely seen handicrafts, such as this Tasik's embroidery, so that people would love them and wear them again," Rudy said.
Fashion designer Kunce Manduapessy presented a mini-collection themed "Purity of Ramadan."
The all-white collection featured elegant tunics made from a combination of silk, cotton and lace, with unique, asymmetric cuts.
"White has always been a favorite color during Ramadan and Idul Fitri as it symbolizes purity of the soul after 30 days of fasting," the designer said.
Designer Yoyo Prasetyo presented a fresh and edgy mini-collection themed "Rebellious Hype."
"Today's Muslim fashion is often dominated by girlie looks," Yoyo said. "I wanted to present something different without breaking the stipulations."
Inspired by sportswear, Yoyo presented a collection blouses, sweaters and jogger pants, made of loose-fitting lycra overlaid with cotton, tulle and net material.
The collection's dynamic looks and bold monochromatic colors made it stand out among the rest.
"You can wear my collection for going mudik," the designer said, referring to Indonesia's annual homecoming tradition.
"With its loose-fitting cut and breathable materials, you will feel comfortable whether you go mudik by plane, train or bus, and will still look stylish," Yoyo added.
All the items presented during the fashion parade are available at the booths on the mall's ground floor.
Prices range between Rp 400,000 and Rp 1.5 million ($29-$107)
The fashion shows and fashion exhibition at the mall will continue until June 24.
Growing Indonesia's Fashion Industry
Ratna E. Utariningrum, director for small and medium enterprises in the fashion and handicrafts division at the Ministry of Industry, lauded the annual event.
"We highly appreciate the fact that Appmi continues to grow the national fashion industry with lots of events, including this 'Ramadan Runway,'" Ratna said.
Fashion is one of Indonesia's 16 creative industries.
"We all should join hands to grow the national fashion industry as it contributes a lot to the country's gross domestic product," Ratna said.
Data compiled by the Central Statistics Bureau (BPS) shows that Indonesia exported fashion products worth $13.29 billion last year, which contributed to 3.76 percent of GDP.
"In this event, the participating designers also explore Indonesia's rich traditional heritage, which gives us a competitive advantage in the international market," Ratna said.
She said Indonesia currently controls 1.6 percent of the international fashion market.
"We'll need continuous combined efforts to improve our market share in the industry," Ratna said.
Idul Fitri Fashion Tips
During Idul Fitri, most of us would go visiting from house to house for silaturahmi. However, Indonesia's hot and humid weather makes it hard to maintain our good looks.
Appmi's Rudy Chandra provided several tips on how to look good all day during silaturahmi.
"Choose loose-fitting outfits made of materials that suit our climate," he said.
Lightweight and breathable materials, such as chiffon, cotton, linen, silk and georgette would be excellent choices in this weather.
Soft pastel colors and nude hues would also create a cooler feel to the eyes.
Rudy suggested that women wanting to look slimmer during Idul Fitri should wear dresses with an empire cut.
"The torso will look a lot longer and thinner in dresses with an empire cut," he said.
Small floral prints and embroideries will also create a slimmer effect on the body.