Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dwi Handayani Syah Putri, Jakarta Fashion Week

Day Two of Jakarta Fashion Week. Today, the street style photographers finally came out. All three of them. One, Bode, was a photographer shooting for fun. He developed his street style chops at Sydney Fashion Week, when he was doing he was degree there. Another, Erick, shoots street style pics for, the outfit of the day website he launched a few years back. And the other, Kaymori, used to shoot street style for Indonesia, when it was still a thing. Now he mostly does make up styling and wedding shoots, but he is still fanning a flame for street style. The four of us hung out at the crosswalk connecting the fashion tent to the mall, Senayan City, trying to get candid shots of Indonesian style icons getting out of their cars or crossing the street. It didn't work out too well. For one thing, there were way too many people and cars, and the crosswalk was narrow. It was close to impossible to get a clean shot. For another, it was cloudy and dark. It rains everyday in Jakarta, often for hours at a time, and there is a gloomy haze that hangs over the city from palm plantation fires that burn incessantly on the neighboring island of Sumatra (Don't buy palm oil!). I had to shoot at ISO1000 to get usable pics. But I am unlikely to post many of them, since they're so terrible. Finally, people just aren't used to having cameras snapped at them as they enter fashion events. Even the local celebrities seem unsure of what to do when it happens. They look down, or smile awkwardly, or hide their faces. Posing while walking is a tricky thing to master. It takes practice, a certain kind of bodily discipline. The attendees at New York Fashion Week have so mastered it, it hadn't occurred to me that people here wouldn't have.

The only good pics I got yesterday were those I got when I stopped people and asked for their photographs. That's what I'm going to have to do today too. Indonesia has a big blogger community. And some of their top names, like Dwi Handayani Syah Putri, have hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of followers. In particular, it's got an awesome hijaber blogger scene. Those girls are fierce! And seriously stylish.

Jakarta Fashion Week has yet to become the circus of New York, London, Milan, and Paris. But it's working on it. It's got the spectacle. It's got the talent. But it has yet to generate the same social media hype machine as the big four. Yet. Post show, the bloggers search the premises for good spots to do their outfit posts. Mid-show, they pull out their iPhones and SnapChat the thing like any good blogger anywhere. And in line for the shows (I've been to just two so far, but am going to a couple more today) they take an insane number of selfies. It is an exercise in futility to avoid ending up in the background of other peoples' shots. I tried anyway. Unlike the people I photograph, self-promotion does not come naturally to me.    

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