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Models during Jakarta Fashion Week (Photo by Budi Harianto/Feminagroup)

How to Attend a Fashion Show?

OurIndonesia – I want to share my experience attending Indonesia’s fashion events during the last 8 years. What many people do not know is that almost all big fashion events are open for public, and it is pretty interesting to look not only at the models that run the catwalk, but also the arrangement of the stage lights, backdrop musics, backstages etc. There are so many elements involved in fashion runway performances, and it actually takes months to prepare a single fashion show that lasted less than half an hour.

Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) is one of the pioneer and the biggest fashion show event in Indonesia. This fashion event has been labeled as the most important agenda in Indonesia’s fashion industry. Not only because of so many designers are involved in the show, but also because of it plays as a medium of trend-forecast in Indonesia.

Every year, JFW displays benchmark trend that will take place next year. Some of the runway shows are open for public (by online tickets available on its official website). Over the last few years, JFW has been held in ​​luxury department stores such as Pacific Place and Plaza Senayan (held only once in Plaza Senayan after a rainstorm destroyed the main stage.

The organizers were forced to move some of the shows to other fancy departement store). In the last few years, JFW is housed at Senayan City and had attracted many visitors and the press of foreign countries, as JFW is an important fashion event in Asia region.

Indonesia Fashion Week (IFW) is similar to JFW, but with more designers. If JFW focuses on upcoming trends, IFW main focus is to accommodate the needs of designers and buyers, so this fashion event is more business oriented. IFW is set in Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), where visitors can see fashion brands upclose and personal. It involves many fashion merchants, and beside seeing runway shows, visitors can buy fashion items.

Joining the two annual agenda, fashion magazine Harpers Bazaar Indonesia holds Bazaar Fashion Concerto, which oftenly involves musics and thematic theatrical acts. Harpers Bazaar Indonesia also arranged fashion festivals and pasar seni Indonesia (Indonesian art market) involving 30 designers.

At this event, the stage has different arrangement than other fashion events. There, the models are not only walking the runways, but stand around visitors, allowing them to see the clothes/fashion items closer in a longer time. Like IFW and JFW, Bazaar Fashion Concerto is open for public.

Another annual fashion event is Kelapa Gading Fashion and Food Festival, which combines fashion shows and culinary exhibitions at the same venue.

Plaza Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s premium department stores, has two annual fashion events: Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week and Men’s Fashion Week. The two events do not only display tenants’ collections, but also features national and global designers. International fashion bloggers are frequently seen attending these events.

These two are my favest and preferred events I can hardly wait every year, because they are set in smaller and more private venue, featuring international high-end brands. This year I had the opportunity to attend a private preview of fashion collection brought from Milan by a renowned boutique. This kind of shows are private (invitation only), because the invitations are sent personally by the brand/merchant.

Each year, Senayan City holds Fashion Nation in Atrium mall, allowing more people to come and see runway shows. Plaza Senayan, another fancy department store located across Senayan City, also holds fashion show sometimes.

Single fashion show performances are often held in luxury hotels or offices that have a hall large enough to accommodate a lot of people. APPMI and IPMI are two big fashion organizations which members are designers from all provinces in Indonesia.

Fashion colleges like ESMOD and La Salle also hold fashion event regularly for their graduates. The highlight of this event is the fashion innovation and creativity that displays experimental and stunning unusual design, for it always involve their succesful designers alumni who own established fashion brands.

Last but not least, I want to share tips and tricks to attend fashion events: make sure you dress well by wearing comfortable clothes –a bit of exploratory look will make you stand out; if possible, wear pieces of the designer who invites you (accessories etc); make sure you dress accordingly with the dress code stated on the invitation card.

During the event, remain seated at your designated place and do not leave the show until it ends (this is an important rule in order to avoid disturbing the photographers taking pictures in the show. If you ignore this rule, be prepared to be shouted and yelled at by the photographers and organizers and be ready to get judgemental stares from fashion people. Trust me, that would be an embarrassing and unpleasant situation).

By understanding these ethics, we will be able to fully enjoy fashion show. Fashion shows are very interesting to observe despite their short durations. They usually holds live musics and give free merchandises. There, we could get together with fashion people. And yes, do not forget to take selfies!