Thursday, 25 March 2010

The final chapter. For now.

Now safely back in the UK I conclude my Indonesia blog with my overall impressions of this enchanted country. I have gathered my thoughts on varying elements and present them to in three sections: People culture, Tradition culture and Fashion culture.

People culture:
Indonesians are one of the most laid back, polite and friendly people I have ever met. You don’t get a feeling of social hierarchy there. We met quite a lot of important people and yet they never made us feel like we owed them anything, or that we had to kiss their asses. The Indonesians don’t stare at you for being a foreigner. They show love. This might be because Indonesia has been occupied, invaded and visited (by the Dutch, Japanese, Arabs etc etc etc) so many times over the years, new cultures don’t phase them….Each culture that has come has left its mark without the Indonesians being resentful about it, be it in art, religion or whatever. One of our tour co-ordinators said that he spends he holidays travelling around the islands of Indonesia staying each night with a different family, who he doesn’t know, who invite him in. That’s pretty cool. Such is the people culture in Indonesia.

Tradition Culture.
Tradition and heritage is alive and strong and celebrated. There is Batik everywhere. Both young and old people wear it and are inspired by it. There is a story behind each design and there are thousands of designs. That’s a lot of stories.
The food is……nothing like I’ve ever tasted before……If I were to describe Indonesian food using music, I would say it was like Aphex Twin……
There are also many other traditions which have been preserved and are practised on a daily basis whose product’s largely provide the domestic market such as wood carving, weaving and art using natural elements…like bones for example.

The "Singing Fish" dish and a worker at a weaving machine

Fashion Culture.
Fashion isn’t really that “big” in Indonesia but it is growing. While we were there, people kept asking us how we could export Indonesian fashion to The West, for commercial reasons of course. Indonesian products might be too traditional for Western tastes how they stand but careful/sensitive collaboration between the two cultures can potentially create something beautiful. You would just need the right designer. And that’s where I come in.

Imran getting papped and a cool piece of Batik

I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I might start blogging properly now if/when I have interesting stuff to share.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Return to Jakarta

“What’s the name of the hotel we’re staying in again? Is it The Sultan or The Turban?” –May Cortazzi; genius.
Just arrived in Jakarta from Solo, after a very dodgy flight. So dodgy in fact, that the girl three seats next to me puked from the landing.

Solo was such a cool place (not as cool as Bandung though). This afternoon we had lunch at Madam Obin’s house, she’s kind of like an Indonesian Vivienne Westwood: completely bonkers and really influential in the cloth world. She also had a workshop next to her house which was awesome, you felt like the workers enjoyed coming to work.

Lunch at Madam Obin's. See her wonderful work

We also got our first taste of some “real Indonesia” –we’ve been pretty sheltered so far with staying in nice hotels and eating in fancy restaurants….we went to a real market for real people.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

From Bandung to Solo and MANGOSTEEEEEEEN!

Today we went round the Mayor of Solo’s house and we ate and he put on a fashion show especially for us and we did a mini tour of his palace. He looked a bit like Obama.

Yesterday in Bandung, I finally tasted my beautiful mangosteen! Although I got a bag full I accidentally left it in the fridge in the hotel so I’m back to square one. But check out the precious below.

I’m really gutted I didn’t take more pictures of Bandung, the camera on my battery ran out. It is so beautiful and one day I want to live there. It’s also a very hip town with a strong youth urban culture. My stuff would go down a treat ‘round these parts.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Farewell Jakarta

Another awesome day spent learning about the “Indonesian Muslim Fashion Scene”. Bare peeps want to hook up with me, it’s exciting!! It’s our last day in Jakarta today, tomorrow we go to Bandung where apparently both the weather and the people are cooler.
Today we spent some time discussing stuff at BINUS university, the best business school in Indonesia. Tomorrow I post pictures, but today you enjoy the ones below.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Dear Diary,

Sorry for not staying in touch like I said I would, it has been an intense and immense past three days. Everything is cool: the Indonesians, the weather, the food, but especially the Indonesians who are possibly the friendliest and most welcoming people I have come across. The hotel we’re staying courtesy of Femina Group is so luxurious there is a man who plays a Grand Piano in the lobby wearing a tux, but I’m not taking pictures of him or of the waterfall, or the 40” Plasma in my room because that’ll make me look really poor.
By the way I forgot to mention in the body of the first blog that you can check out the other contestants May, Justin, Imran and Susi here Check out their work too, it’s good stuff.
Still no sign of mangosteen after the third day, apparently it’s not in season, but we have been sampling other strange fruits, like Snake fruit, which May said tasted like “dry apple and hairspray” (it’s in the pic below). I personally thought it was more pineapple and hairspray.
We have done a LOT of eating. People keep feeding us. Relentlessly. Every day. Every meal. The Indonesians have made us feel really special.
I’ve only managed to spot some local birds but they were so quick I couldn’t snap them. Going more rural to Bandung on Saturday so hopefully I’ll see more exotic ones.
Check out some of the highlights below……until then, lots of love, talk soon xxx

Fig 1: Highlights Medley

Clockwise from left: Snake fruit, May tries Batik, a garden someplace, Imran in an elaborate hat by young indonesian designer , eating session, traditional batik fabric.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Elenany is going places. Literally.

Hello viewers and welcome to the first ever entry of my blog. I have been shortlisted for the British Council's Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year for Elenany which means I get to go to Indonesia. I leave tomorrow. I'm well excited!
The trip is a tour of the Indonesian fashion industry which, amongst other things, will see me schmoozing, liaising and collaborating with Indonesia's finest in fashion. I'll be reporting on a regular basis (hopefully daily) on the wonderful things I do and people I meet so hopefully you will join me on my industry exploration adventure.

Other things I am also looking forward to in Indonesia:
I'd like to state at this point that I am an extreme bird fancier and will be on the lookout for Indonesia's tropical birds.
Mangosteen. A magical fruit native to Indonesia, I will be eating several of these every day, even if it makes me sick. One time I ate 9 Alphonso mangoes in a day. And it made me sick.
I am also hoping to be inspired by Indonesian Islamic was a trip to Morocco a few years back which ignited my love for Islamic graphics -so I wonder what marvellous things Indonesia will show me...