For years, menswear has always been a sidekick to its womenswear counterpart. But not anymore. This year, Plaza Indonesia is holding the only Fashion Week exclusively dedicated to menswear with a lineup that includes both local and international brands.
Commencing the first day is local label Bin House followed by Evenodd (Singapore) by Samuel Wong. The injection of womenswear into menswear, more often than not, is a tricky line to tread. But Samuel managed to balance out the masculine and the feminine with a collection that consisted a palette of black and white. Here, a pleated skirt detail is married to the hem of a simple black shirt, creating a hybrid that is arresting and wearable at the same time. The collection is also buoyed by unconventional choice of fabric. Case in point, a black shiny overall made from synthetic leather appears as if it has been dipped into oil, creating a gripping crinkled texture.
Still, the strength of the collection lies in the fact that, even with the amount of gender-blurring experimentation, it did not take itself too seriously. And the result is a collection that managed to convey a sense of fun in a nonchalant way and, of course, highly wearable.
The theme of sex may not be blatant on the surface of Jail Jeans (Phillippines) collection by Chris Jasler, but it certainly lurked underneath it. Models marched out with their head covered in black masks and dressed in tight-fitting denim ensembles as if dressed for a raunchy night in a glamorous sex dungeon. Of course there’s much more to notice and to digest than its obvious aura. For Chris, the devil is definitely in the details. Zippers and grommets were applied generously onto the jackets, tops and jeans, sometimes in the place of seam line.
Chris also explored the theme of fetish by injecting the elements of uniform into the look. Some models wore Jail Jeans badges that resembled the police’s. It transmits off an effect of sexually charged men in denim uniforms. Overall, to consumers, the collection may came off as a tad intimidating. But separate those pieces out and you get a one hell of statement-making jeans.
Perhaps it is by no coincidence that the closing show of the night was Joe Chia (Malaysia). Joe Chia’s eponymous label ended the first day with a strong and cohesive collection with an army of tough poetic desert explorers. Volumes were stretched just enough to convey cool insouciance and silhouette were kept clean and straight.
It is evident that one of Joe’s strengths lies in outerwear. He managed to make the jackets appear light, almost weightless even, by removing the lining (This is definitely great news for customers who live in the perennially hot weather city like Jakarta). It’s hard not to be enthralled when a weightless windbreaker sailed gracefully as the model breezed by you. All in all, the collection was captivating thanks to Joe’s contemplative vision of the modern man: tough yet delicate, sensitive yet assertive.
And with that, the first day of Plaza Indonesia Mens Fashion Week kicked off to a strong start.