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Jakarta Islamic Fashion
Week: Faith in fashion

Barli Asmara. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
Barli Asmara. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

Designers dispel the perceived limitations in Muslim fashion, giving a modern twist and playing with their designs while, at the same time, staying true to their signature styles for the first Jakarta Islamic Fashion week.

Prominent young designer Barli Asmara presented on Saturday his newly rebranded B by Barli Asmara line of Islamic fashion, presenting his first 36 creations, the overall style of which was a throwback to the 1940s.

“The inspiration of the B by Barli Asmara collection comes from the movies from the 1940s, such as La Vie en Rose as well as Audrey Hepburn’s style,” Barli said prior to his show.

The five-day fashion week, which is sponsored by Kompas Gramedia and ends on Sunday at the Jakarta Convention Center in Central Jakarta, include 11 shows from 25 of the country’s top and up-and-coming designers.

The event opened on Wednesday with a showcase of the latest creations by two veteran designers — Adjie Notonegoro and Stephanus Hamy; Adjie highlighted Middle Eastern inspirations with rich lace details, while Stephanus presented a collection with strong ethnic nuances.

Other prominent designers — from Denny Wirawan, Ronald V. Gaghana, Samuel Wattimena and Itang Yunasz to Malik Moestaram — also revealed their latest creations, all of which carried their signature touches, while young designers Dian Pelangi, Ria Miranda and Ghaida Tsurayya offered their fresh and innovative pieces.

A modern take on colors, fabrics and silhouettes, mixed with traditional flourishes, was the event’s main theme, showing off Indonesia’s distinct approach to influence the world of Islamic fashion.

On Saturday, Malik presented 16 pieces of his latest Islamic fashion collection, which was inspired by decorative architectural details during the reign of King Edward VII of England between 1901 and 1910.

Designer Dian stayed true to her tie-dye style, bringing to the runway the beautiful spring colors of Paris and a splash of floral design, which were uniquely combined with South Sumatra’s songket (woven cloth sewn with gold thread).

Samuel wowed fashion lovers with his 48 ethnic-inspired creations for men, while Ronald and Denny presented their collections on the opening day’s evening show.

Drawing on his Elements line, Ronald revealed graceful designs with 24 fashion items: 18 for women and eight for men. The designer, whose collection’s theme was “passion”, was inspired by Moroccan and Chinese embroidery that was perfectly executed on tulle, silk, chiffon, taffeta and satin.  

In developing his new retro collection, Noblidonna, designer Denny was strongly inspired by the fashion sense of European and Middle Eastern aristocrats of the 1940s and 1970s.

“In my new Islamic collection, I want to introduce the use of not-too-long skirts combined with knee-length boots. I think that is an alternative to Islamic fashion nowadays,” Denny said.

Islamic Fashion Week’s chairwoman, Iis R. Soleiman, hoped the event would encourage Muslims to wear trendy attire without feeling that they were neglecting their religion’s basic rules.

“Around 88.1 percent of Indonesians are Muslim and Islamic fashion trends are very positive these days,” she said.

“Over the past five years, creativity among Islamic fashion designers has also greatly increased. Therefore, we hope this event will help to cater to the market’s demand for Islamic fashion.”

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