Jakarta Globe | Insight

Tradition, Culture Dominate Indonesian Fashion in 2017

Jakarta. Fashion trends come and go but tradition, creativity, culture and ongoing events keep the spirit of the fashion alive. This year’s most memorable fashion trends in Indonesia range from sporty streetwear to hijab fashion.

Side-Stripe Trousers

Zara Stripe Trousers. (Photo courtesy of Zara)
Zara Stripe Trousers. (Photo courtesy of Zara)

Shredded denim was a big hit in the fashion world last year, but in 2017, fashion adapted and took hints from a growing number of healthy lifestyles. The result: athleisure.

“Workout outfits gained more recognition than in previous years. Healthy lifestyle is becoming a culture now. This has affected the way people wear their casual clothes,” said Jakarta-based fashion consultant and observer Sonny Muchlison in an interview on Dec. 12.

According to Sonny, athleisure is dominating the fashion world.

“As we can see, a lot of people, especially youth, love to wear gym attire to the mall and incorporate those pieces with other fashion items, like loose shirts and jackets.”

Side stripe trousers managed to make its way up from niche item to the mainstream and has become the new trouser of choice, dethroning denim as the king of casual wear.
With the upcoming Asian Games 2018, Sonny said the trend is likely to continue through next year.


Adidas Slip On. (Photo courtesy of Adidas)
Adidas Slip On. (Photo courtesy of Adidas)

Over the past few years, sneakers have evolved from being strictly sporty to fashion forward. While flat shoes and sandals are still considered chic for everyday use, sporty and comfortable sport shoes make a statement like no other footwear.

Two years on, the Adidas Stan Smith remains a staple item since its revamp in 2015, in large part to the former art director of Celine, Phoebe Philo.

Soon enough, the Stan Smith on appeared on the feet of many celebrities and fashion stylists. Its blinding white color also makes for a neutral yet popping feature.

“White sneakers are classics in women’s fashion. The neutral color is easy to mix and match with colorful outfits and it also adds versatility into the look,” Sonny said.

Plenty of fashion bloggers and celebrities still sport the sneaker. Other than the iconic Stan Smith, Adidas’s latest shoe editions, Superstar Slip On and Tubular, are hitting the spotlight this year.

Modest Wear

Zaskia Sungkar's Hijab Collection Hue Pops 2017. (Photo courtesy of Zaskia Sungkar)
Zaskia Sungkar’s Hijab Collection Hue Pops 2017. (Photo courtesy of Zaskia Sungkar)

The Muslim fashion industry is gaining strength in Indonesia as an increasing number of designers, fashion bloggers and celebrities have begun to promote and experiment with new designs.

With more and more Indonesian women opting to cover their open areas (head and body), there is a thriving modest fashion scene in the country.

It is no secret that modest wear is not a new concept, but contemporary modest fashion for Muslim women has only really taken off in the last decade.

Modest fashion wear in Indonesia can be traced back to the 80s and 90s, but has gained steam in recent years. With Dian Pelangi and Zaskia Sungkar being the first local designers who took hijab fashion to the runway of New York Fashion Week, it is no surprise that modest wear has become somewhat of a fashion norm even in Western countries.

Big fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabanna and Max Mara, along with retail stores like Debenhams, have also begun embracing the trend to cater to diverse customers, even within the Muslim fashion segment.

Local modest fashion designers and fashion labels of today, such as Norma Hauri, Jenahara, NurZahra, Vivi Zubedi, Kami Idea and Ria Miranda are also realizing that the market has continued to grow exponentially over the past years.

Thanks to social media sites like Instagram, fashion inspiration and consumption has now become more visible than ever. These sites have become important platforms for designers and fashion influencers to connect with customers.

Traditional Textiles

Didiet Maulana Ikat Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Zalora)
Didiet Maulana Ikat Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Zalora)

Indonesia’s many cultures are often reflected through traditional textiles. Batik has long topped the list of fashion industries in Indonesia, but this year, handwoven clothes such as lurik and ikat have taken on new relevancy. This is especially true since many local designers, such as Didiet Maulana, Biyan, Barli Asmara and many others, have showcased their take on traditional handwoven fabrics in fashion shows throughout the country.

The capital’s most eagerly awaited fashion show, Jakarta Fashion Week 2018, in October also celebrated the diversity of Indonesian fabrics, showcasing and promoting local and international designers’ takes on traditional textiles.

Young and talented designers Didiet Maulana and Barli Asmara also collaborated with online fashion store Zalora to create a ready-to-wear collection made from ikat fabric.

Clothes made from traditional textiles by high-end designers like Biyan Wanaatmadja, Edward Hutabarat and Iwan Tirta can be very expensive, but online retailers such as Lazada and Zalora have made them more affordable to purchase.

“Traditional textiles are hot this year and will likely dominate next year’s fashion trends. People no longer wear [traditional textiles] to wedding ceremonies or cultural events … traditional clothes can be worn everywhere at any time,” Sonny said.

Deconstructed, Off-the-Shoulder Shirts

Alexander Wang. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Wang)

Last year, off-shoulder shirts reigned supreme in Indonesia due to their versatility and simplicity to mix and match with other fashion items.

Well-known designer Alexander Wang and fashion brands like Milly and Monse are among some of the biggest names in the industry who continuously experiment with the tops.

Off-shoulder shirts are the most popular among street-style bloggers. Fashion brands, such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara and many others, have also come up with their own affordable version of the eye-catching deconstructed shirts.

Deconstructed shirt styles can come in many different forms – it is basically just a shirt, worn differently or in a new way. It could be reworked to suit a specific body type, have extra-long sleeves with ruffles, cut away the neckline or use sleeves as a belt to add a touch of femininity.

The trend was first spotted last year, with brands such as Strateas Carlucci and Tibi leading the way. Indonesian designers such as Didiet Maulana, Barli Asmara and Lulu Lutfi Labibi also embraced the trend at JFW 2018.

The deconstructed shirts were everywhere this year: on the street, in the mall and at other casual occasions like birthday parties, weddings and hangout spots.

However, Sonny predicts that the trend of deconstructed shirts is going to shift away as print and pattern shirts take over in 2018.