STYLE, SWAG & SUAVE. Five days, 14 shows, one event. Plaza Indonesia Men’s Fashion Week 2015 gave menswear a chance to shine. Gabriela Yosefina reviews the shows
Fashion week was initially created to showcase the latest offerings of the fashion houses, but these days it has become quite a spectacle. Plaza Indonesia Men’s Fashion Week wishes to fulfill both purposes as guests from different backgrounds gathered to see runway shows brought by international and local brands. Held from September 15 to 19, the 2015 event managed to tap into the less-explored menswear fashion by giving a handful of menswear brands a platform to be seen by a wider audience. Plaza Indonesia also collaborated with graffiti artists to decorate the venue, and with DA MAN to cover some of the shows.
British brand Fred Perry opened the five-day event with a fashion show fittingly titled “British Heritage.” At first, the runway was momentarily shifted into a tennis court with a temporary net in the middle. Actors Fedi Nuril and Dimas Beck appeared on stage in head-to-toe classic tennis uniforms and briefly performed a “friendly match” with background sound from a real match. It felt like a fitting tribute, given that the founder of the brand, Frederik John “Fred” Perry was a former tennis and table-tennis champion.
Fred Perry’s interpretation of British heritage was divided into four sections. “Teddy Boys” represented the 1950s subculture associated with rock ‘n’ roll, and thus the brand rolled out long coats and leather jackets paired with curled hair. Meanwhile, “We are Modernist” gave a nod to the mod style in the ‘60s. Suspenders and skinny trousers were prominent during the “Rude Boys and Skinheads” section, referencing the original apolitical movement in the subsequent years. Lastly, “Britpop and Acid House” was charmingly interpreted in sports and varsity elements.
Another brand underlining similar British influences was Ben Sherman. The show was titled “London Calling,” deriving from The Clash’s titular song. Led by Indonesian actor Ario Bayu and Alexa band frontman Aqi Singgih, the models were all dressed in quintessential British pieces, such as checkered shirts, short pants and lightweight jackets.
Tuneful sounds also played along Rococo The Men’s runway. It kicked off with husband-and-wife duo The Sigit’s guitarist Farri Icksan and actress Shareefa Daanish, who played an electric guitar and floor drum respectively. Their performance was followed by a series of casual ensembles that slowly progressed to edgier, more rugged looks, as befits the theme “Chaos and the Calm.” Popularly known for its shoes collection, Rococo The Men now has ready-to-wear pieces from John Varvatos, Belstaff, Vince, J. Lindeberg, Stone Rose, Joe’s Jeans and Gilded Age.
Day two of Plaza Indonesia Men’s Fashion Week 2015 began with quality home-ground label Adamist launching its latest collection titled “The Convicts.” A video showing a model behind bars gave hints of what was about to come. On the runway similar bars were installed, and soon models walked with chains around their wrists. They wore the brand’s signature slim-fit shirts with graphic accents, while some of them were clad in patterned suits with no shirt underneath.
Antony Morato, an international menswear brand newly arrived in Indonesia, also took part in the fashion week. To go with a memorable bang, the brand invited several women to walk on the runway, including actresses Tara Basro and Tatjana Saphira, while Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” playing in the background. Then, it transported the audience to “A Day in New York,” when the weather was cold and layers of jackets and coats were the ultimate sartorial comforts. Despite rather formal styling, the dapper clothing pieces were paired with sneakers and sporty boots, emanating cool yet laidback vibes.
“The event managed to tap into the less-explored menswear fashion by giving a handful of menswear brands a platform to be seen by a wider audience”
Several Italian sartorial heavyweights filled the schedule in the following day. Hugo Boss, Canali and Ermenegildo Zegna presented their fall/winter ‘15/’16 collection and, as expected, one would find perfectly-cut suits and variations of tailored outerwear items with a dash of sports and street wear nuances on the runway.
The fourth day celebrated home-grown brands, namely Alleira Batik, Dhanst by Danny and Isis. Each highlighted their respective strength: Alleira Batik brought out various motifs and colors of batik; Dhanst by Danny experimented with tailoring and added its own quirky twist; while Isis collaborated with Samsonite and a handful of prominent celebrities to present its goth punk-inspired collections.
On the last day we were treated to a more contemporary breed of local brands. (X)S.M.L seemed to tone down its attention-stealing details and opted for somber notes. Danjyo Hiyoji successfully enlivened the rave culture on stage. The Goods Dept asked two other local brands, Mad and Lekat, to create special pieces for the show. After a week packed with fashionable festivities, then it was time to take a breather and assess: Which pieces would I like to wear? Which trend can I adopt? Because, more than the fashionable designs themselves, the Plaza Indonesia Men’s Fashion Week 2015 was all about the expanding variety of individual styles.