Jakarta Fashion Week 2020: Tangan, Friederich Herman, Major Minor and Sean Sheila

by Julius Kensan
25th October 2019
Tangan, Friederich Herman, Major Minor and Sean Sheila each continued the narrative of the label but stuck too close to the old formula at Jakarta Fashion Week 2020.

Many of the labels in this year’s Jakarta Fashion Week are merely continuing the thread that they had already established a couple of seasons ago. Maybe it’s fatigue or maybe it’s business acumen. While there’s nothing wrong in revisiting old ideas, but without succinct clarity and sharp edit, it can easily read as having nothing to say.

Instead of showing in the tent, Zico Halim and Margaretha Novianty of Tangan opted to present their collection outdoor, near the entrance of Senayan City Mall. And so under the sweltering heat and the confines of a tight space, the audience waited for the show to start while donning silent disco headphones, promising a “multi-sensory experience”. Alas, there’s not enough headphones to go around (including for yours truly).

But no matter, the absence of music actually allowed better focus on the clothes as this collection is more stripped down compared to the label’s past outings. The lines are cleaner and most of the looks, when broken down, like the midnight blue jacket with running stitch details and a variety of the label’s killer tailored pants, should serve as an entry point for those who are new to Tangan.

Although the collection geared towards daywear, as a whole it was ultimately brought down by the lack of direction. Perhaps, they were too concerned with expanding the customer base while appeasing their loyal fanbase. Anyway, it’s neither here nor there. What’s dangerous is that it can come across that Zico and Margaretha were hiding the lack of ideas under the guise of a “multi-sensory experience”. Regrettably, this outing felt like a serving of amuse-bouche.

Friederich Herman continues to explore the idea of a woman’s “uniform” fit for all occasions. Like an extended version of his spring 2018 show, it’s essentiall the same formula but much more sensual. Those who expect something new from Friederich will be underwhelmed. Still, the designer’s sense of playfulness is still there. The colours (seafoam green, soft lilac and baby blue) are lifting and reminded of those retro pillow covers in a grandparents’ home.

The only gripe is the poor choice of music. Models walked down to the music of “Ima Read” by Zebra Katz. Despite the title, it’s not about actual reading, but a voguing term that refers to the act of verbally insulting someone. The music and the collection didn’t gel together. It was cringey because it looked like the women of Friederich were trying hard to be cool.

Major Minor, which is currently headed by Ari Seputra since co-founder Inneke Margarethe is on indefinite hiatus to focus on her family, is in the mood for picnic. Every single look emphasises on ease and comfort. While the collection may not excite you intellectually, you know what you’re in for. The floral pattern brings an impressionist painting. The silhouette is loose, there’s no worry about having to go on a diet. The fabric is light and airy, all the better to catch the wind as you stroll down the beach or a park.

The collection, however, would benefit from a tighter edit. Some of the pieces like the white and black checkered dress with strong 40s shoulders and the shirt with drawstring hems and unnecessary flap of hanging fabric looked like they just crashed into this collection. You wish Ari would send out more permutations of the clashing collages of geometric and polka dot motifs instead.

For the past few seasons, designers Sean Loh and Sheila Agatha have been focusing on the issue of overconsumption. And this time, it’s no different. But a softer touch was employed here. If their previous collections looked stiff and uncompromising, here they are lighter. Case in point, a couple of structured outwerwear came in polyester chiffon. The designers also paired some of the looks with the unmistakable bags from Byo (headed by designer Tommy Ambiyo), which added a welcome relief against the heavy mood of the show.

If this collection was a weather forecast, it’ll be dark and gloomy with a chance of party. While there’s nothing wrong in continuing to highlight the seriousness of overconsumption and pollution, Sean Sheila has been swimming in the depth of the sea for a tad too long. It’s time to let some light in.