JFW 2018: Major Minor, Sean & Sheila and Tities Saputra

by Julius Kensan
30th October 2017
A gratifying collection from Major Minor Signature that promises ease and mobility while Sean & Sheila got stuck with a one-note show. Plus, Tities Sapoetra draws inspiration from the locals.

Traveling to Senayan City where Jakarta Fashion Week’s tent is located is an unnerving chore. It goes without saying that the traffic is going to be much worse than usual. And it’s all the more horrifying when a roughly 2km trip can take up more than an hour. It’s so near yet so far. You need both hands to pray that you wouldn’t miss the show. And it is during these moments that you’re grateful to be able to zip through all that horrid traffic with online motor taxi service. Such experience really drove home the fact that time is not the only luxury in this city. Having all the time in the world means nothing in Jakarta without mobility.

And mobility is what you can find in Major Minor Signature latest show. Ari Saputra and Inneke Margarethe’s reinterpretation of everyday wear came in easy and uncomplicated pieces that allow you to run up a flight of stairs to avoid the overcrowded lift or hop on a motor taxi with ease, should you wish to do so.

The show started off on a light note in mainly black and white pieces as well as a handful of dresses with colourful stripes that served as a prelude of what to come next. Indeed, the second part of the show hit a high note with flowy multicolour pleated pieces. But they weren’t just limited to the pleats. Braid-like fringe also spilled down the waist, and sometimes from the collar to give the impression of a necklace.

And it’s this sense of build-up anticipation that really made it gratifying. Just when you thought the show was over, in come the third as well as the fourth act. Plus, the highlight is still on easy, no-fuss clothes, though they are meant for important occasions. Ari and Inneke also applied weaving technique that bears a resemblance to “Ketupat” (rice dumpling). Here, the sense of ease and movement remained as loose dangling strips from the weave trailed closely behind the models as they move.

Still, the show could use a tighter edit. But that’s just a minor hitch given that even though the collection was intended for everyday wear, it wasn’t prosaic at all. Plus, the collection was engaging because Ari and Inneke are in tuned with what women need in this busy and demanding city.

Sean Loh and Sheila Agatha Wijaya of Sean & Sheila are concerned with the plastic waste that’s polluting the oceans. In the opening look, white irregular form encroached the body like seductive yet deadly alien organism, smothering the embroidered yellow blossoms underneath. But they only took it far with their first and the last look. And even so, both of them are similar.

Well, to their credit, the designers employed fabric that resembled plastic, such as the fishnet-looking white mesh. There were also dress and parachute skirt in crumply shiny silver and models’ heads were tightly wrapped with cling film. But they felt more like a reference to outer space.

The issue with this show is that Sean and Sheila didn’t manage to throw themselves into the topic on a deeper level. It remained at the surface. They seemed to be only interested in showing the beautiful embroidered yellow flowers, so much so that they are put on every look. Granted, the fine fringe that flowed down the flowers resembled jellyfish when in motion.

But frankly, two or three is enough. It was so repetitive that the show got boring very quickly. Sean and Sheila obviously need to push it further or risk of being seen as one-trick pony.

If you’ve been paying attention to surroundings around the city or have your eyes peeled to what’s going on outside the window while on the road, then it’s easy to see what Tities Sapoetra is influenced by in his show. To wit, a pair of models came out in baggy dresses that echoed those frumpish sleepwear, usually worn by women in the poorer parts of the town.

But the most obvious clue is the loud cheeky prints, where it showed various young female faces that reminded one of knock-off Disney princess merchandise. Still, that doesn’t mean Tities should take that as an invitation to literally lower the quality of the collection. Just like his previous Spongebob Squarepants show, this one was marred with poor fabric choice as well as awkward proportions.

The strength of Tities is that he knows how to keep things light and fun. Such quality is no doubt rooted in the fact that he was once a celebrity (he still is, just in a different manner) and entertainment is the number one objective. Even so, a fashion show is more than just about fun. It’s also about the clothes. And with only 13 looks, it’s not enough to convey the whole message fully. No doubt that Tities loves fashion. But you wonder whether he’s actually serious about being a designer.