Finally got around to sort the first half of all my Indonesia photos. This was a super spontaneous trip. I barely had any breathing room, having only arrived from my Hong Kong trip a few days prior to this one. But no one is complaining here - my dream is to constantly travel and go to the best places in the world!
November has always been my luckiest month. Birthday aside, a lot of other good stuff always happen to me around this time of the year. Two years ago, I was given the opportunity by UNO to shoot my first magazine cover. Last year, I was the only Asian blogger sponsored to Malaysia Fashion Week by MIFA for a whole week. This year, I was lucky enough to be included in the first ever Indonesia Fashion (Batik) Familiarization Trip! I had a whole week’s worth of batik goodness, all thanks to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and Shinta Dhanuwardoyo. A passionate batik evangelist, Shinta initiated a movement named #Batikday to raise batik awareness across different social media platforms.
We visited a number of batik museums and even got to try creating our own batik using manual wax-resist dyeing techniques! I was able to try it out in Malaysia but they do it differently in Indonesia, which I think is super interesting. Ah, Indonesian batik is much more tedious and complicated to make! But it only really gives you more respect for those who still choose to continue and preserve this cultural heritage in this day and age.
A pre-drawn pattern for everyone to try tracing with hot wax.
Here’s the result of my “hard work”! I added some dots and swirls to cover all my mistakes, heehee.
Here’s Indonesian blogger Tara dyeing and washing her work with blue dye. We were given a choice of blue or red, but I combined both colors for mine to achieve a royal purple color. :D
All smiles! School boys goofing around by the well near the batik museum.
An example of Indonesian wedding attire. So pretty!
When in Indonesia, eat all the yummy satay! We had lunch at TeSate in Plaza Senayan before Jakarta Fashion Week.
Pictures from the BIN House fashion show. Past meets present! It was a wonderful show that was able to successfully marry traditional kebaya and batik with modern styling. Check out that pretty ensemble with the combat boots. Much love.
After the show. Me with the NY girls Christina Topacio of ProFresh Style and Christina Caradona of Trop Rouge with BIN House designer Wita.
(My dress is from EMODA while my necklace is from Forever 21. I didn’t have a hairdryer and an adaptor for my curling iron so I just braided my hair to achieve messy waves!)
All the familiarization trip bloggers with the designer herself. And that’s Shinta beside me. She wore her batik wrap from BIN House with super chic Balenciaga heels and a python Celine bag!
A nifty batik art installation with the iconic Google pointer! Spot the Philippines!
Also wearing BIN House! <3
Double Christinas and their satisfied craving for CBTL. It was their first time outside the US! :D
A beautiful view of Jakarta from the SKYE Bar where we were able to unwind after a busy day.
Tara’s killer rings in different metals.
Polaroids of me, Tara and our baby (because she was the youngest!) Sonia Eryka. I taught them how to do fishtail braids. Yup, I’m still trying to make the world a girlier place.
Next stop after cocktails and drinks was Alleira at Grand Indonesia.
They taught us how to create different looks using batik scarves. We witnessed giant squarish and rectangular fabric magically turn into dresses, tops, bottoms and even jackets. I wish I took videos!
Got some Alleira goodies thanks to the warm people who welcomed us into their store. I got a nice Alleira dress which I can’t wait to wear for my upcoming MOFW Indonesia. It’s huge (for some reason I got an XL) but there’s nothing like a belt to fix everything!
The two Christinas from New York tried Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) out of curiosity! It was so fun trying to explain the whole concept of drinking collected feces from wild civets to them, hahaha.
Hello Batik Museum in Pekalongan! It was mostly under construction, but fun how we were able to practice our batik-making skills again.
This time using batik stamps, which made the whole process so much easier! But of course handmade batik is still more authentic, and not to mention, worth a whole lot more than printed ones.
Major hair envy. Wish mine were this big and thick! :<
Christina C. (wearing Alleira batik jeans) on the left and Christina T. (who hid her toes) on the right. I’m wearing EMODA leggings and Forever 21 flats!
We took our turns writing our names and the cities we came from with wax. Manila represent!
An example of a batik stamp. So intricate, yes?
We visited a batik stamp workshop right after to watch the experts do it. I need their patience and intense focus in my life!
Batik stamp artist. He’s been doing this for years.
Spotted a cute little girl outside the workshop.
And then suddenly, a happy bunch of kids who started posing for pictures!
LARISSA store batik! I got myself a nice handmade batik scarf as a souvenir. <3
Blue and pink batik artwork in the streets of Pekalongan. If only all graffiti looked like this…
At the batik market where they sell printed batik for cheap. I wasn’t able to get one for myself, but it was fun just going around and appreciating the fact that they actually have a ton of these batik markets all over Indonesia!
On the way to Borobudur Temple was this enchanted-looking forest with the tallest trees! My 40mm f/2.8 wasn’t able to capture the vastness of it all, sadly.
Lunch at BS Resto where a lot of tourists go to before visiting the Borobudur temple.
Me and Christina Caradona sharing a giant coconut!
With my Indonesia loves, Caroline, Sonia and Tara. <3 Thank you for showing us tourists around!
Beside the restaurant was another museum where they made silver.
One of the highlights of my trip was being able to visit Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one incredibly massive temple structure, unlike Prambanan Temple (more of that in my next post) and Angkor Wat in Cambodia (which I was able to visit last March 2011), which are both large complexes that consist of smaller temples.
It is a 9th century Buddhist temple in Central Java, and also the single most visited tourist attraction in the whole of Indonesia. Not surprised, because it’s absolutely beautiful.
No glue or cement were used to create this temple! They built in a Lego-like fashion where they made interlocking pieces of stones. Genius. /cue creepy Ancient Aliens music
View from the top.
Christina Topacio striking a pose! Did you know that she’s half-Filipino? <3
At the top of Borobudur, you can find a number of stupas, mound-like structures containing Buddhist relics. If you peek inside those bell-shaped things, you’ll be surprised to see Buddha statues sitting inside.
And more stupas.
Just so you can see how massive the stupas are!
The back part of the temple.
After a long day of non-stop sightseeing and traveling, we headed to Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta Resort and Spa for a 2-hour massage and body scrub at Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa! We were treated with smiles and superb service - just what my tired self needed.
I absolutely love going to the spa, so it was such a treat for me to be surprised with this luxurious treatment after spending hours traveling inside the bus and under the scorching heat of the sun at Borobudur Temple. The massage and body scrub was enough to make my body feel rejuvenated again, since I was already feeling a little under the weather due to our hectic schedule.
Facilities fit to make everyone feel like a princess!
Inside the private rooms, we were free to take our time in the bath tub before the actual massage. They had the best amenities that were nothing short of special. They really spoiled me in this spa! Wish I could bring it back home with me to Manila.
Lastly, on our way back to the Grand Aston hotel, I managed to spot an old billboard of Miyavi’s concert in Jakarta last October. I’d love to bring him to Manila too, lol. *fangirl moment*
Watch out for the next post soon!
Pucci, YSL and all of Farah Khan's labels were presented at the Medium Gala last November. Heard a lot of people liked this show the best during the Malaysia International Fashion Week. I wouldn't be surprised! As I was taking pictures silently on my seat, I noticed a lot of girls spazzing about some of their runway favorites from the show! Talk about being super effective.
The show opened with Emilio Pucci, with his signature prints all over the collection. Yves Saint Laurent followed after with some of the loveliest jewel tones I’ve ever seen in my life. The bags got a few “ooh”s and “ahh”s from the audience - definitely some of the nicest accessories to complement even the simplest of outfits.
Then Farah Khan debuted her jersey collection, FK. Love how they emphasized that you don’t have to iron them. Basically, this collection = most perfect travel companions! Convenient for women who want to be chic but at the same time practical.
Finally, it was Farah Khan’s main label turn under the spotlight. Suddenly, there were these glittery dresses with statements printed on them! I love all the messages that she chose to be printed in big, black, bold letters. You guys know I’m always for positivity! The collection made such a huge impact that you could actually hear the audience reading the statements out loud as the models came out from backstage.
My favorite would have to be the one that she wore herself. CELEBRATE LIFE! <3
I was reminded by all the Philippine Fashion Week tweets to post some of my pending Malaysia International Fashion Week photos. Here are some of my favorites from the early afternoon shows last November 25th.
Met for the second time with my friend, Tongue in Chic Associate Editor Karen Wong, who introduced me to fashion writer Lydia Kwan from Female Magazine. The two of us ended up having dinner together before the Melium Gala, one of the highlights and most-awaited nights of the whole MIFW. More pictures soon!
I was very lucky to be able to sit front row and take all these detailed photos, especially after being told a number of times that the highlight of Malaysia International Fashion Week is usually Bernard Chandran’s show.
Bernard Chandran is Malaysia’s “King of Fashion”. His creations sashay down not only his own country’s runway but also London’s and Jakarta’s. People might recognize him as the chief designer of Project Runway Malaysia as well.
This show was a tribute to his mother and the 1950s, back when he says “people took every effort to be fashionable.” What I like about this collection is the combination of retro chic and very modern geometric cuts and proportions - perfect for those who want to achieve that cliche 50s sophistication without going overboard and costume-y. Who would’ve thought metallics and cutouts could look this good with retro influences?
My personal favorite from this set is that glittery babydoll dress that reminds me of outer space for some reason. <3
We were free to choose which shows to watch, and I made sure I attended at least one show that showcases traditional Malay clothing, just so I can have a slight idea what their counterparts are for our Philippine terno and baro’t saya. Kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination worn by women in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore, southern Thailand (source). There was a show just dedicated to this, which I found very reflective of the Malay culture - still grounded on centuries-old traditions and absolutely proud of every single bit of it. Congratulations to designers Azfar, Sazzin, Aqar Couture, Fairuddin, Saleh Hamid, Fiza Zulkarnain, Akmal Ariffin, Erwan Asbor, Eusopth Salleh, Ehfan Ibrahim, Raff Rafael, Zulfadli Nasir, Zarrieff, Arefen Zaidin, and Erdan!
The second half of this entry is from the Autumn in KL show featuring more local YODA designers as well as ones invited from different countries - Zakwan, Ammara Hijabi, Raymond Goh, Afiq Mohamed, Amer Rafique, Yamz, Zulfadli Nasir, Farliz, Merlee Shariff, Fizi Woo, Khalik Mustafa, Fashiongeek, Roy Mulianto (Indonesia), Edwin Ao (Philippines), and Nhat Minh Thuc Ha (Vietnam).
Edwin Ao (Philippines represent!) left a lasting impression with his cut-out, tailored creations. Super love his use of gray and black mixed with different kinds of green. Meanwhile, Nhat Minh Thuc Ha stole the show with his collection’s compromise between modern usually-Western fashion and homegrown Oriental elements, with all the ethnic prints and chunky knits. Lovely mix of red and purple. That outfit in the last photo is a winner!
While Zebra Square, the venue of the Malaysian International Fashion Week (MIFW) may leave much to be desired as it’s still very unfinished, the show that started the week out definitely did not disappoint. It surprised me to be able to witness an actual Fashion Week show that was inspired by a gothic theme! The Young Designers Arena (YODA) would announce the names of their student designers Hazzerwan, Daniel Arif, Afiq Mohamed, Mohd Nizam, Tan Phaik Imm, Kok Leong Vee, Voon Sue Ying, Teo Chun Keat, Wong Sek Li, and Shannar, as well as the titles of their pseudo-collections (because they were only able to showcase at most 3 of their best work) and I would react silently in my seat whenever I would hear something that sounded very unique, as many were just called along the lines of “gothic architecture” or “romantic goth”. The collection that caught my attention most was called “egyptian goth”, which I thought was a very innovative concept! In the end, the designer for this collection, in his all-black ensemble and almost-impossible sky-high black patent boots, won as the new face/representative of his fashion school. Congratulations to him! That black babydoll “egyptian goth” dress that he made - I covet!
Other fashion schools came to show off their best student representatives moments after the awarding and some sort of peculiar variety show - to say that it was an extremely casual first day for the MIFW is quite an understatement, imho. Designers from MIA, PJCAD, TAR College, Limkokwing and Raffles International College presented their colorful-to-compensate-for-all-the-black-earlier work and my personal pick would be the collection that made use of jewel tones, turbans and a lot of nice velvety fabric. Plus points for the designer since he walked down the runway with a completely matching ensemble.
Next up: Glory of Kebaya, Autumn in KL and *THE* Bernard Chandran!