Getting Stranded in Fashion Week

It all started with my sister getting a couple of free passes for Indonesia Fashion Week 2015 at Jakarta Convention Center and my mom telling me to accompany her during the event. I was sick of studying and thought fashion week would be an interesting experience so I said yes – quite reluctantly though, as my knowledge in fashion merely include a) combat boots and shorts or skinny jeans go well together, and b) one should never ever wear a midi dress with leggings.

I was reluctant to the point that half an hour before we were supposed to leave, I was still in my comfy clothes, trying to get my Sims to marry each other.

The spontaneous side of me finally took over and I picked out my signature, most fashionable look I could muster which included a white top, an oversized, sleeveless leather outer, blue denim shorts, and combat boots. We picked up our designer friend, Ci Vira and after enduring two hours of horrid traffic, arrived at the event.

As a travel blogger, going to fashion week immediately felt like a huge mistake the moment I stepped out of the car. There were people everywhere, trying to look their best with their fancy outfits and platform shoes. Women tossing their hair, carrying Michael Kors handbags were everywhere. Men dressed in tight outfits and wearing eyeliners were not hard to encounter. It was a strange new world for me.

There’s always this constant depiction of fashion people being a bit snobbish and a bit superficial and in the most extreme cases, they might even lack manners. I wouldn’t say that this is 100% true – my sister lives and breathes fashion and she’s fine – but I would be lying if I say that it’s not true after witnessing it firsthand in fashion week.

There was this one lady who was dressed in tight outfits from head to toe, carrying a handbag, standing in front of the way when I was clearly pointing my DSLR at my sister. I ended up cussing at her because she wouldn’t move out of the way and she simply looked at me in a “ew, who are you?”, condescending kind of way and I just glared at her. My feet got stepped on a lot and got bumped in the shoulders by a lot of people, apologized a lot and had no one apologizing to me.

Really, I don’t belong in this world.

As we entered and journeyed inward, walking around booth after booth, this new world of fashion felt a lot stranger and stranger to me. I saw blank, faceless mannequins wearing clothes that one wouldn’t exactly wear in public. I saw a lot of shoes with sellers dressed in a more stylish manner than I was. There was a lot of batik everywhere, a lot of sequins and lace and dresses that I could only dream to have enough grace to wear.

I’m not going to say the booths were unattractive because some of them drew my attention (to be more specific – the wearable sections of the area), but most of them basically displayed the same thing. My sister and friend was ooh-ing and aah-ing, marveling the intricacy of the design or the fabric and honestly, they all looked nice for me but I just didn’t really get it. Some of the booths that actually caught my eye was an environmental-based jewelry booth, one selling leather boots, one with the hiphop, eye-popping, wearable shirts, and one promoting a styling app for smartphones.

Some point during this adventure, we crossed paths with a celebrity, trying to pick an outfit – getting surrounded lens upon lens, shutterbugs snapping furiously. I couldn’t find anything remotely interesting in watching her pick an outfit. We also came across Lenny Agustin – whose works are unique and one of the designers I adore – doing an interview for a TV station and I didn’t even realize who it was even though her hair was dyed her signature green until a few steps afterwards, I freaked out and said “That’s Lenny! Oh my gosh, that’s Lenny!” There were a lot of tall, handsome guys dressed smartly in suit and tie and my eyes were definitely pleased with that view. As a matter of fact, it was the highlight of the night for me – being surrounded by that many cute guys in suits.

One concern for me throughout fashion week (aside from the amount of rude people) is the amount of parents bringing their little kids around. There was literally a sea of people and there were parents trying to hold their kids’ hand, being surrounded all this people. I honestly feared for those children being stepped on by someone or separated from the crowd. I mean, it’s good to expose kids to the world of fashion but I don’t feel like that’s just the way to do it.

All in all, I went to fashion week and it wasn’t my favorite my experience ever.

It was uncomfortable to have that many people judge each other by how they look – I mean, you have no idea the amount of head to toe scans I received from people from wearing combat boots and shorts on fashion week. There were a lot of “you would look good in this” conversations and a lot of “you look a bit chubby, this wouldn’t suit you too well, but this other one would” being uttered.

On the other hand, fashion week was a source of creativity in itself – for designers, for stylists, for fashion buyers and bloggers, even for me. I wouldn’t be able to write the things I wrote here if it weren’t for fashion week. I would never truly experience getting myself lost in the world of fashion. There were so many people everywhere with different personalities and styles. There were vibrant colors and earthy tones and I couldn’t help but think of ways I could improve my own style and be more daring when it comes to what I wear.

For a closure, here’s what I have to say regarding fashion a.k.a the lessons I learned from my journey in fashion week. The world of fashion is still weird for me and you would probably never find me trying make a living in this world. Hell, I wouldn’t want to repeat the fashion week experience again next year.

But if you are in this world right now, then I hope that you won’t lose yourself. The thing about fashion is that it’s an ever-changing thing. Trends come and go quickly and if you find yourself merely following the trend, then who are you in fashion? They say that what we put on defines who we are as a person and I hope that who you are is not just a follower of the crowd. I hope that you stick with a style that suits you, makes you feel comfortable and describes who you are in spite of what other people say about it. I hope that you don’t put on tight clothes or starve yourselves just to fulfill society’s image of beautiful or fashionable. What matters is how you feel inside, not what they think. And I hope that your good attitude and the values you raise with remain with you for your entire lives.

In short, define who you are as a person, what makes you feel comfortable and confident and wear clothes that show that. Let the world know your style instead of being just another part of the crowd and feel good about yourselves in what you wear. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Anyway, here are some shots from the event to end the post. I didn’t take too many photos because I was reluctant most of the time (is it rude to take photos without buying an item? Do they feel like I’m stealing their idea?) Enjoy!

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