IKAT eCUT: Fashion Inside Out

Profile05 April 2017

By Banny Rahayu

IKAT eCUT: Fashion Inside Out

Social issues can arise in any kinds of industries, not to mention fashion. Some may not even realize that behind those glamour, pretty clothes is a threat awaiting us.

The fashion industry has no doubt received more attention these days, particularly in Indonesia, where top and emerging designers shine brightly. This, however, terrifies some parties who are concerned about the impact caused by fashion. Therefore, IKAT/eCUT was held to raise awareness of this issue to public. According to Head of Cultural Programs of Goethe-Institut Jakarta Anna Maria Strauß, the title itself has already given a specific meaning; IKAT refers to the traditional clothing, while eCUT is related to electronic cutting that involves technology. In a nutshell, this event focuses on textile from the very different perspective, with its sub-title discussing the takeout between textile and art, design, tradition and technology.

The centerpiece of IKAT/eCUT was at Gudang Sarinah. It was a showcase of Hamburg Museum of Art and Craft’s collection curated by Dr. Claudia Banz, who travels to Southeast Asia and Australia to spread the awareness on the aforementioned issue. Held from March 9 to April 9, 2017, this exhibition featured various forms, place and topics–though all stick to the main idea. Named “Fast Fashion: The Dark Side of Fashion”, the centerpiece deals with critical thinking on fashion that meddles in between the irony of people’s desire about fashion and the bad impact caused by the industry, locally and globally. Through specific scenography, there was a complete process of the industry, from catwalk to photo shoot, from display window to fitting room.  The exhibition will explain seven steps of intricate situations entailing significant aspects of life: economy, social, and ecology that are related to fashion, global and local poverty, benefits and wage, clothes and chemical parts, clothes and ecology balance.

Goethe-Institut Jakarta launches this project simply because people are not yet aware about the ecological harm and labor condition in the industry. Case in point was in Germany; a study presents a time when lot of people wish to keep up with high-street fashion trends but do not have any clue about the risks. Therefore, Goethe-Institut, through IKAT/eCUT, traveled to Filipina for the first time, followed by Indonesia and later Melbourne to increase the awareness, share the solution, and support the community in one event to another, connecting people with similar interest to take an action.

Not only did the exhibition discuss the issue, it also offered solutions. Slow Fashion Lab, for instance, reveals sustainable textile alternatives from Indonesia, uncovering more sustainable initiatives that produce harmless fashion items just like Aguste Soesastro’s, an Indonesian haute couture designer. Taking some time in the Slow Fashion Lab area, people were enthralled by curator Aprina Murwanti (a lecture, researcher and textile artist), who picked the best of content to be presented, unveiling slow fashion process including the safe techniques, research initiative focusing on water waste on textile production, coloring and fiber, and also about future fashion and designers, strategy plan for water and energy efficiency, and other cultural aspects.