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Spring breeze hits the runway

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, April 19, 2018  /  09:22 am
  • Barli Asmara

    Barli Asmara OF JP/Steven

    Barli Asmara

  • POPULO Batik

    POPULO Batik OF Senayan City/File

    POPULO Batik

  • Denny Wirawan

    Denny Wirawan OF

    Denny Wirawan

  • Wastu

    Wastu OF Senayan City/File



Expect a dash of floral batik patterns, straight-cut silhouettes, men’s outwear and skintight catsuits in this spring/summer 2018 collection.

The 12th Fashion Nation brought a rich variety of designs to Senayan City shopping mall in Central Jakarta. Running from April 11 to 22, Fashion Nation XII boasts 24 shows featuring an array of up-and-coming names as well as established designers in the South Jakarta mall’s atrium.

Three designers unveiled their new collections at the event. Denny Wirawan presented his ready-to-wear collaboration with e-commerce platform, Auguste Soesastro introduced his lower priced diffusion line Wastu and POPULO Batik, helmed by Joseph Lim and Ba’i Soemarlono, brought a Tibetan ambience to the runway.

In collaboration with AkzoNobel paint product Dulux, couture purveyors Barli Asmara and Diana Couture brought out their never-before-seen collections, with accessories provided by Le Ciel Design.

Florals for spring? Groundbreaking

 Suasana Hati by Denny Wirawan, Denny’s first online exclusive prêt-à-porter line, opened the day with multicolored floral batik pieces.

Utilizing Pekalongan and Solo batik, the clothes were a departure from Denny’s usual fare, but longtime followers could still notice traces of couture and drama through the styling, as models were outfitted with flowery headpieces and/or carrying bouquets of flowers.

Though the presentation evokes images of waterfront picnics on the French Riviera, the clothes were work-appropriate cotton attire you could wear on a casual Friday.

Denny’s signature color blocking were on display, applied in the panels of cap sleeve shift dresses and cropped jackets with oriental details finished in clashing patterns.

Of course, this is a logical move for the designer, as he could stand to gain exposure and business from’s consumer base.  

“In this digital era, we must keep up with the times to reach a wider audience, especially from the millennial generation,” Denny said.

The highlights of the presentation were the two lightweight gathered skirts shown near the end, with floral detailing that could spruce up even the stuffiest of boardroom meetings.

Staying in the lines

Wastu, which means “architecture” in Javanese Sanskrit, embodies Auguste Soesastro’s DNA as a designer, as seen in the crisp, no-nonsense styling.

The ready-to-wear brand, established last year, showcased in its third collection 18 looks of monochromatic garments in straight-cut silhouettes.

The collection featured loose silhouettes so as to accommodate the women who would wear my clothes, without limiting or hindering their movements, Auguste said.

“What’s important is that the wearers can feel more comfortable in their clothing,” he added.

Neat lines were seen in the majority of the show’s offerings; a black and white sleeveless shift was adorned with vertical stripes, a single red line a splash of color amid the absence. Black trousers finished with white striping down the sides added a touch of sport reminiscent of Alexander Wang, paired with crisp white button downs and white sneakers.

Amid the deluge of black and white, Wastu also utilized floral batik patterns in several looks. A collared jacket was paired with straight leg trousers in the same fabric in an earthy, one tone ensemble.

Mountainous mysticism

For Fashion Nation, POPULO Batik showcased their Purity collection, which was first shown at Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week back in March.

Taking inspiration from the Tibetan kingdom of Mustang, POPULO distilled the isolated region’s preserved culture into garments fit for royalty. The collection is divided into three parts; mountain, water and people.

Jackets and outerwear in muted colors, signifying the rugged terrain of Tibet, dominated POPULO’s menswear offerings. Several of the outerwear emulated the trappings of a monk, with wide sleeves and an open front.

On the flipside, women’s clothing were decidedly more fluid, with flowing dresses paired with structured outerwear, cut from indigo-dyed fabric representing the ebb and flow of water.

Ramping up the Tibetan mysticism, the fabric utilized POPULO’s signature stamp batik in the pattern, with lines weaving in and out sinuously. While apparent in the blue hues from the indigo dyes, the pattern was also present in the naturally dyed darker shades, albeit only visible in close proximity.

As the closing look, the pièce de résistance was a long wrap dress styled to resemble the Tibetan bakhu, with elongated sleeves and embroidered detailing on quilt. 

 The gold standard

 Opulent is the word for Barli Asmara’s designs, whether ready-to-wear or couture.

Titled Monarque Metallique, the Bandung-born designer utilized jacquard, taffeta, tulle, linen and velvet with floral detailing, embroidery and beading in white gold.

Evening gowns were cut in sleek silhouettes, with the drama generated from the fabric and detailing, made manifest from the 18th century-inspired looks adapted to the millennial era.

“My collection is inspired by the success story of women. Women have become leaders and hold illustrious positions, and I linked that with Monarque Metallique,” Barli said, adding that the challenge in the collection was to avoid being monotonous, even though he only used one color.

Apart from the floor-sweeping gowns, Barli also brought out jumpsuits fit for a modern-day monarch. An asymmetric jacquard number was finished in an asymmetrical cut, as if playing the dichotomy between the business-luxe half and the court regalia half.

Meanwhile, Diana Couture by Diana Putri showed a wider range of colors in her collection, titled Your Majesty.

Diana, who had showcased her previous collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week in October, utilized gold tones and vibrant reds as a change, combined with laser cutting and airbrush to create geometrical shapes.

After an opening violin performance, a voluminous gown in crisscrossing red lines opened the show proper, followed by other gowns mostly in metallic tones.

The absolute showstopper came when a model in an embroidered and beaded skintight catsuit walked to the end of the runway. Her headpiece-cum-helmet snapped close and opened like a particularly sultry superheroine, a neat party trick that arguably overshadowed the actual clothes. (jlm)

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