Buying presents for people is a fairly stressful endeavor for me, because I’m a poor judge of identifying an individual’s desires and needs. Christmas and birthdays are not my forte, but I’ve managed to reconcile this issue by sticking to one solution: buying personalized or one-of-a-kind gifts. This way, I minimize the chances of a) having the gift re-gifted, and b) giving someone a gift they’ve already received from someone else. True story: two different people once bought me the same DVD box set of World War II documentaries. I guess it’s nice that my interests make it easy for other people to buy stuff for me, but not so fun if I get the same gift twice.
Anyway, here’s a list of gift ideas that you can pick up when you’ve hit the gift-giving idea wall:
For the Work Colleague: Commissioned Sketch Portrait
During the grand launch of Maison Lancôme at LOTTE Shopping Avenue, guests walked away with sketch portraits done on the spot by Bandung-based illustrator Diani Apasari. Commissioned sketch portraits are probably the most truly authentic “one-of-a-kind” gift, because, well there’s only one copy of every person (unless you work with twins, obviously). I enjoyed my sketch so much that I’ve made it into my avatar for all my social media accounts!
One of the perks of being an editor includes the pleasure of perusing through press releases and photographs that end up on my desk, but some press releases excite me more than others. I really enjoy getting word from Indonesian fashion designers and labels in particular, especially brands I’m encountering for the first time. Happily, there seems to be an amazing influx of Indonesian labels I’m just hearing about for the first time; this may mean I’m really out of the loop, or more and more local designers are ramping up their entrepreneurial game.
So I was pumped when I received a press release from Kaca Kassidy that celebrated the arrival of their FW ’13 collection, titled jux.ta.pose. It’s the third collection for the brand, which was established in 2012. The cuts are no-nonsense and perfect for busy city living. I quite dig the printed bomber jacket on the far left!
Kaca Kassidy is the brainchild of longtime friends, Adinda Harsono and Alyssa Rusli. They were buddies at school before going on to tackle different fields of study (Fashion Design and Business, respectively). In 2011, they flirted with the idea of combining their respective areas of expertise, and their label came into being the very next year. Before setting up shop in Indonesia, they tested their hand at fashion design and retail through Fox Feet, a Perth-based fashion agency.
It’s nice to read how some people can harness the electrically charged energy from their friendships to collaborate in a project resulting in a united vision. The only project that my college roommate and I consistently had similar visions for was what pizza to order on Saturday night. Sigh.
The price points are sensible enough, with tops going at under IDR 299,000 and dresses hovering right below IDR 500,000. Here’s a blip from the press release about this latest FW ’13 collection:
Within this season Kaca Kassidy uses monochromatic prints, rich colors and embellishments to create a different feel and dimension to its collection. Using silhouettes that fall naturally to ones [sic] body shape, giving comfort and flexibility to our customers.
Overall, jux.ta.pose, will offer an elegance, edge and individuality to ones’ wardrobe.
Whoa! It’s been a pretty long time since I last wrote a GoR post, so I thought it was high time I kick this feature back into gear. I wanted to zero in on one of my favorite icons in modern pop music, the subversive Maya Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name: M.I.A.
This Sri Lankan songstress moved to London at a young age and immediately absorbed the art around her, letting the rest of her life gravitate around her desire to create art. Her debut album, Arular, was released in 2004 to plenty of fanfare from the indie set, who found her trademark style of rap and electronica to be a breath of fresh air. She came into the radar of mainstream approval with a 2008 single called Paper Planes, and has since been a figure of admiration and controversy. Her music has become synonymous with political symbolism and activism, with the video to her 2010 single, Born Free, igniting fury, praise, and dialogue.
Her style may be difficult to digest at first, immediately polarizing everyone exposed to it: much like her music, you either love it or hate it. She’s very much a walking and breathing representation of street style, with the style of designers like Jeremy Scott coming to mind. I think the world can do with more of her riotous and devil-may-care fashion sense, so I’ve been a fan since day one. M.I.A. just doesn’t care, which is one of the most appealing aspects of her personality! Here she is just KILLING IT with a performance at the 51st Grammy Awards in a Henry Holland dress, where she shared a stage with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, T.I, and her 9 month-old foetus.
She was due to give birth anytime soon, but that was not going to stop her from performing. Her take-no-prisoners musical style bled over into her personal projects, so not content with moving in musical circles, M.I.A. has become a favorite among fashion bigwigs as well.
At the 2010 Met Ball with Alexander Wang and Zoe Kravitz. (Image source)
Now there are more ways of celebrating the force of nature that is M.I.A. In October 2013, she unleashed a capsule collection done in collaboration with Versus Versace. The entire collection is a little bit cheeky: in an interview with WWD, she mentions this:
“The theme of counterfeits, of those that produce and sell them, has always been part of the culture of M.I.A. When I was contacted by Versace, it seemed a great idea to invert the circle. Versace’s designs have always been copied, now it’s Versace that copies the copies, so those that copy must copy the copies. So this will continue.”
The M.I.A. x Versus Versace line includes bags and shoes and is available online, with prices in the women’s collection ranging from USD 195 for printed leggings and up to USD 4,395 for a shocking blue fur coat. Check out the corresponding fashion film to get more of a feel for the collection:
If you’re not familiar with local label Capital T, you should be: Tertia Enda dropped everything at her full-time job to study at Susan Budihardjo. From there, she founded Capital T with a mission to provide urban professional women the option of having clothes that suit their fast-paced city lifestyle. Capital T recently released Writer’s Block, the label’s F/W ’13 collection, and its press release had this to say:
For this collection, the design was inspired by the term ‘Writer’s Block’ hence the name of the collection. Tertia Enda, the designer, found it enticing how a seemingly dismissive situation could ironically rouse progression on a story, often it even creates new details, new routes, new stories. This idea is represented by how Tertia tried to cut patterns in such ways to create some kind of procrastination feel on her collection and symbolizes the struggle of the author by playing with upside down interlocked triangles. The whole attempts resulted in arcane looks throughout the pieces, thus making this collection captivating both to see and to wear, like the beauty of writer’s block itself.
The previous Capital T collection, titled Forbidden, also featured a very prominent geometric motif: where there are triangles in this collection, Forbidden played with squares and also made use of a pale pink shade that went beautifully with corresponding dark blues. Come to think of it, this collection is also home to an identical color palette not dissimilar to the previous one, possibly meaning that the designer has fallen into a comfortable design groove she’s comfortable with.
True to her original mission of providing comfortable clothing to young urban women, Capital T delivers on freedom of movement. Each piece is neither too form-fitting or loose, letting the wearer take on the world in style. I’ve been totally crushing on a pair of palazzo pants form an older collection, and should probably go grab them before someone else snatches them up.
What are your thoughts about the F/W ’13 collection? Capital T is available online at Jakarta’s D Space at Debenham’s Lippo Mall Kemang, Happy-go-Lucky of Bandung, as well as Indonesian e-tailers Shopdeca and Zalora in Indonesia, Gnossem in Singapore, and at Fashion Valet in Malaysia.