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Threads of Indonesia- A fashion showcase

The Threads of Indonesia fashion show and business matching were held on 11 September 2023 at the legendary Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. Two Indonesian designers, Anita Gathmir and Jessica Febiani, presented beautiful pieces emphasising traditional Indonesian fabrics as major elements. Anita Gathmir, the owner of Puta Dino Kayangan, proudly showed a collection called Motif Tuan Guru, produced from Tidore weaving fabric. Meanwhile, Jessica Febiani, the owner of Jessica Moretosee, employs batik textiles for her exquisite Act Globally- Love Locally collection. A total of 60 invitees, most of whom were potential purchasers from various companies and merchants, were spotted admiring the items on display.

Kiba Bam, representing the TFG congratulates Indonesian missions in South Africa for organising the event. “TFG and Indonesian Embassy had a collaboration before and it was a huge success for the designers and TFG. TFG will be in talks with Batik fabric manufacturers on creating sustainable fabrics,” Kiba stated. Last year, Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and Indonesian Trade Promotion Center in Johannesburg together with the TFG made Stories of Hope, a fashion film displaying collaborative works of Indonesian and South African young designers in creatively combining batik and shweshwe.

Glamour had the opportunity to interview Indonesian designer Jessica Febiani and this is what she had to say:

Glamour: What does it mean to showcase your designs in South Africa?

Jessica: Since many locals are already familiar with the original Indonesian batik that former African president Nelson Mandela wore, we decided to launch the market. Mr. Mandela feels quite at ease because this batik can be worn by all demographics, does not distinguish between different skin tones, and has an elegant appearance.

G: Can you describe your collection?

J: This time, we drew inspiration from spring to create a unique collection for the fashion show in Cape Town. We use a wide range of gorgeous hues, which we also tailor to the likes of the people of Cape Town. This time, we created batik with a variety of themes, including the Megamendung batik, which is West Java’s batik emblem, and of course, in vibrant colours. Megamendung Batik means that every human being must be able to manage their emotions when they are unhappy, sad, or depressed. Always be sensible in any situation, like a foggy cloud, and keep the atmosphere cool. In addition, we have various collections from Solo, Jogja, and Bali.

G: What inspired your collection?

J: Jessica Febiani, as the nation's successor, is responsible for preserving and advancing batik. Aside from conserving tradition, batik has motivated Jessica Febiani, owner of the label to keep creating. Batik gains a more refined appearance as a result of her influence. It makes sense given the high demand for her work both domestically and overseas. In her hands, batik is transformed into a piece of visual art that also serves as a representation of the national culture of Indonesia. Regardless of skin colour or age, batik has become a universal modern lifestyle.

G: Are there any cultural practices that you have incorporated in your collection?

J: Of course. Because each of our designs has a meaningful meaning in life and can produce a positive atmosphere when worn. Positive energy is released, and it represents glory, loyalty, love, and wisdom.

G: As a designer what have been the biggest challenges you have faced? And how have you overcome these challenges?

J: Many people have recently begun creating batik garments. Therefore, we must be able to establish a distinctive model or motif that remains appealing and distinct. In addition to having distinguishing qualities and preserving quality.

G: South Africa, like Indonesia, has a rich heritage. How have you showcased this in your designs?

I present MORE TO SEE batik in Africa based on Asia Africa in 1955 which depicts the emotional connection between the continents of Africa and Asia, particularly Indonesia. The two continents have a friendly connection. These two sides share the same sense of style, which is also evident in their use of batik. I therefore have high hopes for Batiks further growth across Africa. Considering that UNESCO has recognized batik as one of Indonesia's indigenous cultural legacies.

What is next for your brand?

We sincerely hope that our designs will become more global and more people will use our designs.

Thread of Indonesia/ SDR
Thread of Indonesia/SDR

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