Contemporary Indonesian Fashion: Through the Looking Glass

Contemporary Indonesian Fashion: Through the Looking Glass

Indonesian fashion has undergone a period of rapid growth over the last three decades. This book explores how through years of social, political, and cultural upheaval, the country's fashion has moved away from "colonial fashion" and "national dress" to claim its own distinct identity as contemporary fashion in a global world.

With specific reference to women's wear, Contemporary Indonesian Fashion explores the diversity and complexity of the country's sartorial offerings, which weave together local textile traditions like batik and ikat-making with contemporary narratives. The book questions concepts of "tradition" and "modernity" in the developing world, taking stock of the elite consumption of luxury brands and the large-scale manufacturing of fast fashion, and introduces us to the rise of new trends such as busana muslim (or "modest wear"), creating a portrait of a vibrant and growing national and, increasingly, international, industry.

Exploring clothing in shopping malls, on the catwalk, in magazines, and online, the book examines how Indonesian fashion is made, presented, and consumed, combining research in Indonesia with analysis and personal reflection. Contemporary Indonesian Fashion ultimately questions the deeply entrenched eurocentrism of "global fashion", simultaneously interrogating current homogenizing beauty and body image discourses posited as universal, by pointing to absences, silences, and erasures as reflected by contemporary Indonesian fashion- hence the "looking glass" of the title. Aptly illustrated, the book offers a new perspective on a rapidly developing new fashion capital, Jakarta.
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