Fashion Rock 2020 faced a backlash but It’s just the way how Jakartans reacts to hoo-ha moment. Photo courtesy of Fashion Rock/NOW!JAKARTA

On 31 January, Fashion Rock 2020 gave a surprise to the fashion frenzy with a runway show at MRT Jakarta, conquering several areas of the Jakarta trendy transit system to showcase the capsule collection from three Indonesian emerging designers during evening rush hours. It’s unconventional runway as the model strode across the wagon, struck a pose on the escalator and the gateway, escorted by photographers who captured the fashion moment. Few celebrities attended the show which was held around 7pm, considered as the busiest hours on Friday night Jakarta with VIPs on board traveling from Bundaran HI to Cipete Raya Station for the main show.

As the show ended, the organiser received complaints from the residents popped up on social media about the fashion show. Many passengers felt disturbed by the fashion show during the busy hours as some people need to be diverted to other wagon and few of them ended up missing the train. 

Fashion Rock, an annual event that combines fashion and music — a collaboration project between Hard Rock FM and MRA Media — got much appreciation from the public at the beginning until they had to send an apology letter to the public for the inconvenience. As a partner of the event, MRT Jakarta also addressed the statement to reduce the public tension and hoping to execute better creative event management in the future. 

Putting the fashion show in the public venue is certainly risky with the crowd passing by, especially in public transit where people are coming from and to different destinations. It’s also not the first time Jakarta public see the fashion show on the train as it was done before on LRT Jakarta Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival (JFFF) in August 2019 featuring the collection from 11 designers including Jenahara, Amot Syamsurimuda, and Eridani. 

It’s a different case back then as the LRT was on trial operation. On the other side, Fashion Rock 2020 has decided to set up the show in the busiest hours. During Ramadan last year, the fashion show was held on a ‘not fully-occupied’ airport train express to showcase modest wear collection from Baznas while passengers on the seat were looking at the model doing their pose throughout the wagon.  

And of course, it’s also not the very first time the world seeing fashion show on a train. Many international designers such as Tom Ford, Chanel, Vuitton, Alex Wang, and Maison Margiela made the runway at the metro underground station and the airport. Jeremy Scott on the latest Moschino Pre-Fall 2020 show in NYC Subway. Yet, they are more prepared, better on deciding the location and the show schedule, since the Margiela held the show in 1992 at an abandoned station of Paris Metro.

So, why is it so problematic when it comes to Fashion Rock 2020? Are the public are not yet ready for this? How about Showtime dancer who is used to appear on NYC Subway performing street dance? Or, the scene from the movie Begin Again starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly have much explanation about art in public transit. 

It’s not an everyday show but commuter’s life in the megalopolis in Jakarta indeed seems dreadful and the presence of art wants to reduce the level of the stress. It’s also the reflection of people, Jakartans in general if may say, who commute from suburbs to downtown on a daily basis feel about disruption and disturbance. People waste so much time on the road. Complaints, Crank, and Yelling are just a normal characterisation of Jakarta commuters As it is passed, the public will understand that it is the circus of urban life where music, fashion, and arts involve.  

There is no exception for Three designers Andadika Surasetja, Kelly Vallerie, and Wilsen Willim — all of them are finalist member of Harper's Bazaar Asia NewGen Fashion Award 2019  — who want to inspire people through their latest collection of the amalgamation about ‘Commuting Life’, a mission to encourage Jakarta residents to fill up public venues with the creative souls.  

Nothing overly glamorous with the show on Friday night at that time. Street prêt-à-porter pieces were presented in total of 36 designs, with 12 looks from each designer. Three designers came up with the bold narrative, linked fashion with the ideas around public transit. 

On 31 January, Fashion Rock 2020 gave a surprise to the fashion frenzy with a runway show at MRT Jakarta, conquering several areas of the Jakarta trendy transit system to showcase the capsule collection from three Indonesian emerging designers during evening rush hours.

Inspired by a number of famous areas in Jakarta such as Kemang, Bintaro, Gandaria, and Menteng, Kelly Vallerie unveiled the origin of its famous name that all are based on flora or plants. Her unisex sartorial is manifested into ready-to-wear pieces that have an urban history in it. “Plenty of people know these areas but many of them also don’t know that these areas are historically named after plants,” Vallerie said about her collection Kawasan.

While Wilsen Willim risen up the issue about pollution shown from the model wearing a mask, the creative director of MORAL, Andadadika Surasedja captured Jakarta the annals of Jakarta transportation since Kopaja and Metromoni print are covered the collection of Transit 2.0. Previously, Surasedja had launched the related collection Transit in Hong Kong to visualise the life of daily commuters in that city.

“It’s about the phenomenon of public transportation movement in Jakarta. We highlight the imagery of these transportation modes from the picture and the colour. This year is also a goodbye for Kopaja and Metromini as both will be terminated for the operation this year,” Surasedja said. 

Complaints at the convenient MRT Jakarta is nothing compared to how past generations of Jakartans had to deal with the public transportation back in the day. Designers helped delivered the narrative, last Friday. 

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.