So in November 10, 2010, I was presented with another chance to present my latest collection at the Jakarta Fashion Week 2010. Just like last year, the venue is still at the Pacific Place Mall, but this year the invitation was to show inside the tent.
It was such an incredible honor to be able to show my collection inside the tent. Not even 2 years ago I was sneaking inside the tent, trying my hardest to use my internship ID, or trying to stick with the magazine people that I happen to know, and pretty much just like a kid in a candy store. And it felt like yesterday that Krista Rompas and I presented SeaM collection at the Jakarta Fashion Week, outside at the promenade though. It seems like the tent is such a 'high up there' place for a young designer like myself.
Which is why I got too excited to show my collection. I know that only big designers of the calibre of my ex boss, Mr. Barli Asmara and his peers like Priyo Oktaviano, Deden Siswanto, Billy Tjong, Adesagi, and Sebastian Gunawan were the regulars for the fashion tent, and newly established designer like myself could only dream for such opportunity.
Of course, I wouldn't take this opportunity for granted, this could be the big break I've been waiting for!! So I got to thinking about what I'm going to show these fashionable crowd, and I came up with the decision that it's going to be something that's totally me, which of course is something constructed, relatively colorless, and of course projected my ideal customers, women who are strong, tough, modern, bold, and unafraid of having power.
My research began with a book by T.C. Boyle titled The Women, story about Frank Llyod Wright, a very famous architect, and his love affairs with the women in his life. Then and there I decided that this collection is also going to be sensual and body conscious, not thinking about putting the architecture on the women, but to treat the woman's body like a piece of architecture. A reverse thinking like that is so simple, but to apply it is not easy.
Especially, when you're left with nobody but one single seamstress slash assistant to do this 8-looks collection. My tailor was then extremely busy, and I couldn't wait any longer, I really need to start production, so there it was, the two of us trying to do the most important collection of my life.
So for this collection I though I'd go all out despite the short amount of workforces. Incorporating more handwork than ever before, and I somewhat wanted the handwork to be obvious in a way, but still understated. Going through all the materials are actually one of the easy part. Once the sketching is done, I know exactly what I want and where to get it. I know that the construction is going to be the hardest part of making this collection, and I wasn't wrong. Besides the incredible beading, the usage of knit fabrics are also the first for me. Two kinds of knits were used, hand-cable-knit and super light jersey, but unlike usual, the jersey is constructed and not draped. Each construction line has a function, and to accentuate it, I did every piece in different shade, which is also sort of a trade mark of mine.
The collection is heavy on the menswear fabric. I want to show the strength in using these heavy-weight fabric to create the super body conscious garments, so it's feminine but strong at the same time. The shape is also very special, as I mentioned architecture being the main inspiration, so although I can't really pinpoint which buildings had been the inspiration, I wanted the marriage between fashion and architecture to be obvious. And the embelishment are quite special too! Acrylic crystal in metal, metal shape stud, and tiny metal pipes are used, but also a touch of rebel and punk by the use of safety pins on a simple skirt, a leather pants, and a constructive dress.
Sounds complicated?? You bet!
The show itself was quite dramatic. The rehearsal that was supposed to start at 11 a.m. didn't start until 12.30, which coincidentally was also our schedule for the press conference. We were of course had to come to the press conference, and luckily I caught a glimpse of the rehearsal. And then some backstage drama happened. If you have ever been on the backstage of a rushing fashion show, you'll know that zipper can be a problem. Well it happened to be me in Beijing, it happened again in Jakarta. The leather pants' zipper was busted. It was probably because it was fitted to be very tight on the model, but well surely it caused a minute of panicking for me, but then we had time to actually sew the pants on to the model, so that's what we did.
Sounds dramatic?? You bet!
But what is a fashion show without a little drama? At the end of the day, it was a fabulous show. We were an hour late, but there were still hundreds of people queuing up to get in, and some celebrities invited to the show had to stand because they're not allowed to interrupt the show. But the amazing thing is that they stood still, and watched the show standing up! I was impressed that they would do that. I wished we would start a few minutes later though so everyone could at least get to their seat, but it may be notes for next time.
On and on, it's been over a month now since the show, and I've been receiving a lot of reviews from different medias. So far, I've been very relieved by the amazing reviews! Thank you so much for all the media who have watched the show and supported me and my fellow young designers. I couldn't be more honored to be able to showcase my works in front of your eyes. Hopefully you'll also like my follow up collections!