Globalisation and the intersection of Western influences and established Islamic ideals are creating an interesting religious, social and political climate in modern Indonesia. Western dress, behaviour and attitudes increasingly proliferate the country, facilitating a rise in consumerism, among other cultural shifts. While Islamic, more conservative, dress used to appear along side Western clothing, it is now being increasingly integrated into this market in response to Indonesia’s modern social climate.
While on the surface, Western consumerism and Islamic dress seem to clash, in actuality the intersection of these two factors are facilitating a new design paradigm (Jones 2007) with the creation of a local Islamic Indonesian fashion industry. Indonesia Fashion Forward has been created in response to this and is a collaborative project aimed at “building [a] program with a vision to bring a selected number of designers to a regional and global platform”(Jakata Fashion Week 2015) through business and strategy assistance.
Busana Muslim (Muslim Fashion) is emerging in a myriad as ways which reflect the different observations of Muslim faith within Indonesia. Restu Anggriani is a young fashion designer whose clothes aim to provide solutions for women who engage with Islam in different ways. In regards to her latest collection, her husband and business manager explains, “If you look at this dress, it’s actually quite form fitting. But then we add these accessories, like jackets and cardigans, to cover the shape of the body. We say to our customers, it’s up to you. There might be young people for whom this is Muslim clothing, but a bit rebellious. But if you add (a jacket, for example) it’s more syariah.” (Sharpe 2014). In this respect, the Indonesian fashion industry is developing in a way which reflects its societies modernity and globalisation. It is also argued that by making traditional dress more enticing and accessible, young Muslim women will be increasingly likely to adopt more ‘correct’ forms of dress (Sharpe 2014).
Islamic fashion designers in Indonesia are also turning to traditional print forms as inspiration for their lines, appropriating and recontextualising Batik patterns (Jones 2007), giving them a modern context in contemporary Islamic fashion.
In response to socio-economic growth and globalisation, Indonesian fashion design is progressing in a way which reflects the complex intersection of modernity and religion. This social and religious climate has facilitated the creation of an industry that is unique to Indonesian context but which is also relevant to the modern Islamic community at large.
1 – Jakarta Fashion Week 2015, Indonesia Fashion Forward, Jakarta, viewed April 29 2015, http://www.jakartafashionweek.co.id/en/indonesia.fashion.forward
2 – Jones, C. 2007, ‘Fashion and Faith in Urban Indonesia’ vol. 11, issue 2/3, Berg Publishers, England, pp. 211-232.
3 – Sharpe, J. 2014, n.d., Meet Indonesia’s Middle Class (part 4): Where Fashion Meets Religion, The Interpreter, viewed April 29 2015, <http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/02/24/Meet-Indonesias-middle-class-(part-4)-Purchasing-power-piety.aspx>
2 thoughts on “POST A: The contexts of Busana Muslim in Indonesia”
The way Indonesian fashion designers have taken a religious form of dress and modernised it is very interesting. You have chosen great examples of how the market is growing. Now Islamic dress and Muslim fashion designers are being observed on an international fashion platform! As you have mentioned, designers are using traditional print forms as inspiration, identifying with the cultural roots of this form of dress. I think is very important for the success of this market!
This is a really interesting way of looking at the development of fashion, not only in trends but as a cultural construct. Being from a context of Australia, where we are (largely) free to wear what we like, it is really eye opening to put your self in the position of someone who may have to think very carefully about how they will be treated according to their clothing.