Skip to Content

Fashion Flair: Indonesia Fashion Forward setting a promising future

by October 29, 2016 General


All eyes were on the works of the latest batch of Indonesia Fashion Forward (IFF) designers on the opening day of Jakarta Fashion Week 2017, with their designs setting the trends for next year.

The designers of five labels received short courses to propel them further in the local and international fashion industry, joining 40 of their seniors who regularly release new collections and are steadily entering global markets with mentoring from London-based fashion business incubator Centre for Fashion Enterprise.

The incubation program of the Jakarta Fashion Week organizer is in collaboration with the British Council and the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf).

“We were given the knowledge to create effective branding to enter the international market. Our mentors introduced us to overseas buyers and, most importantly, local manufacturers so it’s no longer necessary to import materials,” said Rani Hatta, who was picked to join the fifth installment of the incubation program after making her debut with her eponymous label at the fashion festival last year.

Joining Rani were the designers of the Paulina Katarina, Bateeq, Day and Night and BYO labels that made the runway their commencement stage, bringing a fresh look to the local fashion scene for Spring/Summer 2017.

“Indonesia Fashion Forward continuously makes us proud,” said Svida Alisjahbana, the founder and chairperson of Jakarta Fashion Week. “The alumni have left their marks in the international arena by taking part in international trade shows, being involved in the exchange platform with fashion festivals overseas and by being eligible to enter prestigious international fashion design contests.”

IFF alumni include labels and designers Major Minor, Tex Saverio, Yosafat Dwi Kurniawan, Dian Pelangi, Albert Yanuar, Patrick Owen, Peggy Hartanto, Jii by Gloria Agatha, Billy Tjong, Norma Hauri, I.K.Y.K and Jenahara. Another alumni, Toton Januar, won Asia’s International Woolmark Prize this year and will compete at the international level in Paris early next year.

According to Svida, candidates for the program must show professionalism and an eagerness to forge a stronghold in the industry through a branding strategy.

“We’re not going to choose a ‘me, myself and mine’ designer in this program. The designer has to be backed by a solid team of people to ensure a sustainable production,” she said.

“This program is the right post for the government to invest in the fashion industry instead of facilitating a famous label to become a global brand in an instant. It should be a long-term investment which may not show results in two to five years, but it would give the right direction to the local industry.”


The Muslim wear designer established her label in 2013, and represented the country at the Bangkok International Fashion Fair and Bangkok International Leather Fair 2016 in March.

She joined IFF in the modest wear category, but it was not reflected in her new collection, titled “Youth”, which was rebellious and a bit aggressive. She created 16 designs of oversized wear embellished with pleats, eyelet rings and layers in a monochromatic palette. The collection consists of turtleneck sweater-dresses, pleated skirts, vests, tailored bomber jacket, jogger pants and hoodie. It uses an assortment of materials such as neoprene, bonded fabric, polyester, scuba and synthetic leather.


Behind the Bali-based label are siblings Surya Paulina Kuhn and Ratna Katarina Kuhn, whose products have been sold in Jakarta, Singapore and Australia since its inception in 2012. The label was a finalist in the CLEO Fashion Awards 2015 in the Most Innovative Local Brand category.

Known for their premium wear products, for the fashion festival they presented “Wanderlust” — a collection of casual but elegant outfits for semi-formal or leisure occasions, dominated by undertone colors of blue and white.


It was all about black and white when Yelly Lumentu released her label in 2012. It is famous for her quirky but wearable designs with unique details that led to her winning the Most Innovative Local Brand at CLEO Fashion Awards 2015.

Her latest collection, “Double Take”, presented monochromatic style in simple cutting for a chic and neat look, so subtle that only the wearer or one who looks close enough could tell the exquisite details of embroidery and frills of each outfit.


Since 2013, designer Michelle Tjokrosaputro has modernized the presentation of batik in fashion by focusing on colors and motifs — a fusion of traditional garments and global appeal.

Entering IFF in the premium wear category, Bateeq came out with “Catena”, translated as a continuous form of chain link, with inspiration derived from batik motifs Salur (vine), the flowery Kembang Kanthil and lively Fajar Menyingsing (sunrise). Using cotton poplin fabric, jersey, viscose, satin and organza, the collection is created to cater to the need for one outfit to suit all occasions in a day.


Accessories designer Tommy Ambiyo Tedji won the Most Promising Accessories Brand at CLEO Fashion Awards last year for his exploration of material, concept and design in creating clutch and purse designs with a futuristic aesthetic.

For the fashion week showcase, Tommy also created gowns using the same material and design with the clutch; instead of a zipper or buttons, he used a magnetic strap to hold the outfit together. In some of his designs, the bags could be attached to the back of the outfit.

While the use of magnet runs the risk of a fashion faux pas, as occurred on the runway, Tommy succeeded in wowing the audience with his take on Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi film Alien.