Plaza Indonesia Mens Fashion Week: Day 4

by Julius Kensan
28th September 2014
Brands flexed their cool muscles in a bid to woo young and influential individuals. Show coverage and short reviews from Ben Sherman, Alleira and The Goods Dept.

There is possibly only one important deciding factor for young adult consumers when it comes to spending: cool. After all, it is totally justifiable when one wears a pair of ugly clunky shoes, munches down a plate of tasteless raw veggies and sips a cup of coffee at an obscene price, as long as they did it in the name of cool.

The day 4 of Plaza Indonesia Mens Fashion Week saw brands flexed their cool muscles in order to persuade, convince and carve out their own niche territory within the competitive menswear scene in Jakarta.

Ben Sherman continues to mine the cool factor with button-up shirts that one easily associates with the much sought-after British insouciance. Shirts appeared in permutations of colours, prints and checks. Of course, their signature bullseye print also made an appearance. The collection may be straightforward but it easily appeals to men who are still pretty much a rebel at heart.

Safe to say that Batik is not a look often affiliated with cool. It is usually reserved for office and formal events, such as wedding dinner. Various attempts at giving Batik a young makeover have often ended up unforgivably cringeworthy and painful to watch.

It is a delightful surprise then that Alleira managed to elevate the aesthetic of Batik into a collection that is both youthful and stimulating while showing their ability to understand what young customers are looking for at the same time. The soundtrack alone – Artic Monkey’s “Snap Out Of It” – supplies plenty of clues to the collection’s inspiration.

Alleira has married Batik with rockabilly and glam rock to an ecstatic effect: the silhouette was shrunken to appear lean and sharp. Jackets are noticeably shorter and fitted and paired with tight fitting black pants. Standout looks include a blue single button jacket with vibrant batik prints splashed diagonally onto it. However, the collection fell short with looks that featured batik in myriad of gaudy colours. Still, the energy of Alleira’s collection was infectious and loaded with a great deal of swagger.

Established since 2010, The Goods Dept. is a local curated boutique store known for championing the local fashion scene. Over the course of three years, it has established itself as the destination for alternative fashion and lifestyle products. The collection that was presented last night demonstrated The Goods Dept.’s ability to select and showcase some of the hottest local brands of the moment – Elhaus, Nikicio and Aesthetic Pleasure.

Some of the current coolest ways to wear an outfit that you can think of were pulled right out of the fashion hat. All you have to do is just simply lean back and do the mental check. Strap sandals worn with long socks, ticked. Schoolboy look complete with short shorts and Nike sneakers, ticked. Round rim shades and fisherman hat paired with Adidas pool slipper, ticked. Board shorts over tight leggings, ticked.

In essence, it was not a collection that moved the fashion dialogue forward. The Goods Dept. is clearly planting its feet firmly in the now. And there’s nothing to be ashamed with that, as long as it is able to cement itself as the coolest of them all.