Fashion event to showcase
RI's cultural heritage

Jakarta is gearing up for the second annual Jakarta Fashion Week 09/10 (JFW), this time with a tinge of patriotism, as fashion designers prepare designs infused with Indonesian heritage.

"I think each of our members is increasingly aware that we have to promote our local culture," said designer Carmanita from the Indonesian Fashion Designers Council (IPMI).

"We always advise our junior members to focus on our cultural heritage although their designs don't necessarily have to be entirely traditional," she said.

The event, which will run from Nov. 14 to 20, is being organized by Femina Group (behind Dewi, Femina, and Gadis fashion and women's magazines) in collaboration with Jakarta Tourism Agency and BRI bank.

With international media coverage, fashion week is a platform for Indonesian fashion on the world stage, JFW chairman Svida Alisjahbana said.

With last year's fashion week appearing in international media, it was a valuable exercise in promoting Indonesian fashion to the world, Svida said.

The organizers also collaborated with Australian fashion people and brought Australian designers including Akira Isogawa to the event.

This year, fashion week orga-nizers will collaborate with India, Svida said.

"Why India? Because, India and Indonesia are culturally linked. Our woven cloths are influenced by each other," she said.

Two Indian designers, Tarun Tahiliani and Malini Ramani, visited Indonesia in May to select materials for their designs. Meanwhile Indonesian designers Sebastian and Priyo Oktaviano visited Delhi to select fabrics for theirs.

JFW organizers anticipate more than 60 designers will participate in the event. Indonesian Fashion Designers Association (APPMI) chairman Taruna Kusmayadi said at least 42 designers from APPMI would take part, while Carmanita said 12 designers from IPMI would join.

Jakarta Fashion Week will also feature exclusive Muslim fashion.

Jakarta Tourism Agency head Arie Budhiman hoped the event would have a positive impact on the economy and promote the local fashion industry.

Many people have a wrong impression about fashion shows seeing them as social events, Taruna said.

"I hope fashion week attracts all stakeholders so it will not only be about image but also be a trade event with infrastructure for trade," he said.

This year JFW has set up a trade communications division to accommodate producers and buyers, Svida said.

The festival will also include an annual fashion design contest, for which registration and submission periods opened in May.

Like last year, the event will be held at Pacific Place mall in SCBD, South Jakarta.

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