Muslims all over the world are getting ready to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. The month, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, is considered one of blessings and forgiveness for all.
In Indonesia, Ramadan is celebrated with festivities. Most shopping centers and department stores are enhanced with elaborate decorations and lights.
So is Pasaraya: The Pride of Indonesia in Blok M, South Jakarta. The entrance of the mall is enhanced with intertwined ketupats (rice cakes, traditional servings during Idul Fitri celebrations) hanging over the arched doorways.
Inside are rows of artificial palm trees casting shadows onto the life-like mannequins dressed in Muslim attire.
To celebrate Ramadan, Pasaraya presents “Kemilau Raya Pasaraya 2012” (“Grand Sparkles of Pasaraya 2012”), a series of fashion shows, bazaars and family entertainment that runs until Aug. 31.
“It’s a special event for our customers,” said Pasaraya spokeswoman Medina Latief Harjani. “We hope the event can give our customers some insights into current and upcoming fashion trends in the country and highlight them in Ramadan.”
The event kicked off on July 10 with a series of fashion shows by emerging Indonesian designers.
In the shows, held in the d’Designers area on the first floor of the mall, each designer presented his or her special Ramadan collection.
Creative innovations and tasteful aesthetics reigned on the catwalk.
Senior Muslim fashion designer Merry Pramono featured the bright and beautiful tenun Kendari (Kendari’s handwoven textile) from the small town of Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi.
“I visited Kendari a couple of years ago and was amazed by the brilliant colors of their traditional textiles,” Merry said. “These textiles have as many colors as a rainbow.”
Themed “Rainbow,” the fashion show presented eight women’s outfits in beautiful shades of pink, orange and fuchsia.
A model dressed in a long-sleeved fuchsia blouse, crop jacket made of tenun Kendari, orange harem pants with tapered legs and simple wraparound hijab also in fuchsia captivated the audience. The clever combination of colors and patterns made the attire look very fresh and fun.
Rosso, a fashion designer from Yogyakarta, presented Indonesian traditional Muslim attire for men, baju koko .
Baju koko is a loose-fitted, long-sleeved men’s shirt with small mandarin collars. The shirt usually has monochromatic colors on the front enhanced with embroidery.
“I feel baju koko has been much neglected by Indonesian fashion designers,” Rosso said. “Most of them prefer to design women’s clothing. Yet we cannot deny the fact that baju koko is an integral part of Indonesian Muslim fashion.”
Rosso said it has always been his dream to create a more modern and fashionable line of baju koko, and he realized this dream in his new collection with innovative cuts and vibrant natural-dyed batik .
“Natural-dyed batik usually has muted, dark colors,” Rosso said. “But I’ve discovered a new technique to make it more bright and colorful.
“We can be modern and stylish in naturally sustainable ways.”
Rosso applied this colorful batik to the cuffs, plackets and yokes of his otherwise plain baju koko shirts to add subtle yet tasteful embellishments. His baju koko shirts, which have a slim fit and flexible collars, are a perfect pair for batik sarongs to celebrate Idul Fitri.
Sonny Muchlison, a fashion designer-cum-lecturer at Jakarta Arts Institute, featured iconic batik designs from Pekalongan, West Java, in his Ramadan collection.
Sonny combined the batik with songket (a handwoven textile with golden or silver threads) from South Sumatra and ikat (tie-dye) from Sumba, West Nusa Tenggara, to make men’s casual jackets, women’s office wear and cocktail dresses.
“These items can easily become Muslim-wear for women with a pair of leggings and a long-sleeved T-shirt,” Sonny said. “They’re versatile.”
Indonesian Muslim womenswear label Up2Date presented a collection of warm-colored tunics and abayas in the fashion show.
A simple terracotta tunic became special with the addition of an off-white chiffon bolero and thin belt.
The model also wore a tubular hijab of a matching color embellished with a chic crystalline headband.
A clever interplay of layers also created a flattering silhouette for Up2Date’s collection.
A simple spandex tunic became more fashionable with the addition of a loose-fitted overall-dress with slanting hemlines. On the model, the longer part of the hemlines of the overall was pinned up to create an alluring drapery that enhanced her simple look.
These Ramadan collections are available in Pasaraya’s Fashion Market until the end of August.
During the event, Pasaraya is offering a culinary bazaar offering tajil (snacks to break the fast), food and drink from all over Indonesia. Expect long queues and heavy crowds in this area in the early evening. “I hope our series of events will add more cheer to your Ramadan and Idul Fitri,” Medina Latief said.
For more information, visit www.pasaraya.co.id.