A total of 214 contestants walked along the 1.5-kilometer catwalk on Jl. Ijen, Malang, East Java, on Sept. 10. They designed the dresses and used recycled materials for the Malang Flower Carnival (MFC) with a “Nusantara Flora Exotica” theme.
Tourism Ministry deputy director for tourism development and marketing Esti Reko Astuti said the MFC could serve as a valuable way to develop local designers’ creativity as well as the city’s tourism potential.
“The MFC is one of Indonesia’s envoys working with the Tourism Ministry to promote our culture overseas. We have brought the MFC to other countries for the 27th time to promote Indonesia. In September the ministry and the MFC Malang went to Paris for the same purpose,” she said.
Rudi, a high school student in Kediri, East Java, said that he and his team had prepared the design for three months, supervised by their teachers. “We collectively raised funds and used recycled materials from garment factories and waste banks around our school,” he said. “We were happy to join the MFC because we could showcase our design and learned from other participants about their work.”
Another participant, Eva Yulianti, said she had joined a group of designers in her neighborhood. “I use recycled materials; the model for my designs is my niece.”
Malang Tourism Agency head Ida Ayu Made Wahyuni said the annual event had continued to garner participants. Last year, there were only 130 participants. This year, there were 214 from different cities, such as Denpasar, Surakarta as well as the Sulawesi towns of Parigi Moutong and Sinjai.
“We use the floral theme because Malang is the center of flowers in East Java, and it also helps develop the garment and tourism industries in the area. The carnival offers Rp 40 million (US$2,985) in prize money, and the winner is picked based on their uniqueness, beauty and dance movements. We continuously evaluate the carnival so it won’t be dull for visitors,” she said. [yan]