You know what I love the most about being an expat in Asia? I feel free in my fashion choices. As a foreigner to the country, I am allowed to look different, and expected to be different. So I am more daring and confident than I would be back home. Not having to conform to the social and fashion expectations of my own culture is liberating.
I currently live in Jakarta, a fast and vibrant city with so much energy that is unique to its neighboring countries. Their fashion is a fusion of Javanese, Western, Chinese, and Persian influences. It’s refreshing and unique. That’s why I was so excited to be a guest at Jakarta’s 10th Annual Fashion Week.
I was invited by an Indonesian designer brand I recently discovered, named ‘Purana’. Purana specializes in modern Batik (Javanese traditional craft of hand dyeing patterns on textiles) and combines it with modern cuts.
The Jakarta Fashion Week is a big event for fashionistas and designers in Jakarta. Young designers get the chance to showcase their new designs, while established designers dominate the catwalk with their latest pieces. I was blown away by the range and innovation.
Although Batik was a common theme, I was happy to see it used in a contemporary style that could easily be worn outside of Indonesia. The fabrics were soft and natural for the hot Asian climate. There were lots of earthy, natural textiles, mixed with bold colors of blue and red. Long sleeves and tribal themes were also the trends this year. I actually think the looks could blend really well with international fashion, adding touches of exotic flare.
It has always been one of my biggest priorities in Jakarta to explore local fashion, designers, and businesses. I take pleasure in sourcing and discovering local artisans. I don’t want to spend my time as an expat in Indonesia, trying to replicate my time back at home (in Australia.) Instead, I try to embrace Jakarta entirely for what it is and have no expectations. I can honestly say, that is my key to being happy as an expat.
This guest blog is written by Rinka Perez.
She is an Australian expat living in Jakarta, who I first met during one of her weekly coffee mornings in Jakarta. These gatherings are perfect for expat moms who are looking for new friends. She is also the founder of the blog “The Expat Housewife of Jakarta“, who has lived in San Diego and Singapore. Now that she’s living in Indonesia, she can currently be found wearing Batik and eating durian. Her blog focuses on the challenges of being an expat housewife (and mother); tips for expat living; and promotes a million things to do in Jakarta.
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