For Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW) 2011-12, British Council invites Justin Smith (jsmithesquire.com), an award-winning British milliner, to showcase collections of his bespoke hats, in collaboration with Oscar Lawalata, an international award-winning Indonesian fashion designer, in a runway show on 14 November 2011 and fashion exhibition throughout the fashion week. The collaboration happened very organically after Justin’s first visit to Indonesian in 2010 during the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Fashion Award programme, which Justin won in London in 2010 and Oscar won in Indonesia in 2008 and then London in 2009.

Justin promptly committed his £5,000 prize money to having a research trip to Sintang and Yogyakarta in August 2011 together with Oscar where they explored the rich traditional techniques, crafts and materials. The trip then inspired them for their collaboration which they showcased for JFW 2011-12 with the theme “The Culture Incarnation”. Working in collaboration with Oscar, Justin hoped to create something new that bridges the gap between the leading edges of British and Indonesian fashion and at the same time reflecting the deep respect for the traditions and artistry of both cultures.

The British Council fashion programme stretches for a week including various facets such as opening party for the fashion exhibition of Justin Smith and Oscar Lawalata, which was officially opened by Dr. Mari E Pangestu, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, and was well-attended by key figures in the fashion industry such as Ms Svida Alisjahbana, CEO of Femina Group, as well as international ambassadors such as the British Ambassador, the Mexican Ambassador, the Japanese Ambassador, and representatives from the Australian Embassy and Embassy of Bulgaria. It was followed by a full-house fashion show showcasing 55 collections showcasing Justin and Oscar’s collaboration.
As wrap up activities, Justin provided master classes and workshop in Binus International University and La Salle College, sharing his experience on how a creative entrepreneur evolve and make it happen amidst the bustling fashion industry in Europe – his work now includes widely acclaimed collections and he has regularly shown at London Fashion Week, Milan, Paris and Rome and through collaborations with various designers including Moschino, Aganovich and (es)* Artisanal.

UK expert of the fashion industry, Toby Meadows, from the Centre of Fashion Enterprise (CFE), was also present for the fashion week. Not only did he experience first-hand the fashion week in Indonesia, but also to deliver various capacity-building workshops and seminars. The writer of an international best-selling book “How to set up and run a fashion business” which is translated into 6 different languages, shared his experience and expertise to a vast array of the fashion industry key holders: fashion students, teachers and lecturers; young and upcoming fashion designers; as well as the government officials.

British Council would like to thank our partners: Femina Group, Binus International University, Centre of Fashion Entreprise, APPMI (Asosiasi Perancang dan Pengusaha Mode Indonesia) and Oscar Lawalata Culture for supporting this project.

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