TOTON Reacts to the Country’s Somber Political and Social Conditions

TOTON Reacts to the Country's Somber Political and Social ConditionsTOTON Reacts to the Country’s Somber Political and Social Conditions. Toton Januar took the common issues and translating them figuratively onto his eponymous label.

As this year’s fashion week ended a few weeks ago, goers and enthusiasts were left with an aesthetic presentation of brands and labels, both old and new. Although each representation differs from one to the other, one may think of the week was very blasé. But thankfully, some did catch our attention.

Toton Januar is not a newcomer in the industry of fashion. The clothes in each of his collections are weaved with modernity and traditional concepts, making them unique in character. The two different collections he presented this year were seen at Jakarta Fashion Week’s closing with Dewi Fashion Knights 2017 and Lakme Fashion Week 2017 to present his Spring Summer 2018 collection.

From the two collections, Toton took issues common to those around us and translating them figuratively onto his eponymous label. The collection he presented in Dewi Fashion Knights 2017 came out of the question, “what is modernism?” as it became the overarching theme of the show and the collections. While some may interpret this to innovate and move forward in life, Toton took the other way by taking simple innovations we fail to apply in our lives: recycling.

Toton applied the theme well into his “Bunga Papan” collection, taking old pieces of work from previous collections, textiles and fabrics that were left unused and incorporated them beautifully onto the design. Although ragged and shabby here and there, Toton made them looked like a beautiful mess represented in a high-end and elegant manner. One could spot the use of raffia ropes on skirts, bits and pieces of denim on denim stitched roughly for pants, not forgetting tulle, wool, and acrylics to boot.

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For us, Toton took fashion to a different height; not only did he braved himself through a reconstructing and deconstructing-like collection, but he placed emphasis on great detailing and meticulous crafting on every piece, successfully placing the artistic practice in the equation.

A hit and miss concept, anything related to recycling can look both cheap and expensive depending on how designers present them. On observing the collection, Toton did explore a lot of his abilities as a designer, where sometimes the notion of recycling can seem questionable for many, especially in the modern fashion industry. Toton’s personal use of unused fabrics from personal and previous collections just show how personal and intimate his collection become.

While one collection explored the modernity of living a minimal life, Toton’s Spring Summer 2018 collection explored the social tensions we faced in the country. The everyday streetwear of Jakarta, to the day and night dresses people clad for a formal attire were among the many hodgepodge pieces of the collection.

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Literal concepts include the flower board t-shirts to interpret the high number of flower arrangements that Jakarta Governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat received, a sign of gratitude from the people. More traditional concepts focus on the use of batik with motifs such as Batik Mawar, Batik Ageung from Garut, Batik Tuntrum, and Bunga Krisan. Main elements to the collection include casual jeans, wide-collared shorts, deconstructed classic trousers, open-back blouses to name a few.

This collection entitled “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa” is an ode to the archipelago we call home. The earthy tone palette to the collection including brown, grey, and black may well resemble the country’s somber political and social conditions. Textures play a huge role in the collection where draping, overlapping elements, volume from draped raffia ropes on dresses, off-shoulder tops from tough fabrics like denim were shown. This may represent the every-fluctuating conditions of our country. But another way to see it would be the eclectic and diversity that become main attributes to our country. The beautiful patched appliques, the embroidered detailing as well as the intricate beads give the collection a character just how Indonesia is. See the complete lookbook below:

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