Shafira Designs Help You Look Your Best for Lebaran
In a few weeks, we will again welcome the holy month of Ramadan. For a full month, most Muslims in Indonesia will fast from dawn to dusk. But fasting is not an excuse for looking drab and forlorn. In fact, it is a time for us to refresh our wardrobes. We should start preparing for the “Big Day of Lebaran,” in which Muslims all over the world will celebrate victory after fasting for a whole month.
Muslim exclusive fashion brand Shafira presented its annual “Lebaran Bersama Shafira” (“Celebrating Lebaran With Shafira”) fashion show last week in the grand ballroom of the Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta. The show also marked the 23rd anniversary of the brand.
For the fashion show, the stage was lavishly decorated to resemble a small suburban town. A woman, dressed in a golden abaya and cyan hijab, sat at the center of the stage and mesmerized the audience with her guzheng (Chinese zither) play. Her adept fingers carried a medley of Indonesian songs, such as “Bengawan Solo” and “Indonesia Tanah Air Beta.”
“For this collection, we combined Chinese, Arab and Indonesian fashion styles,” said Shafira product and creative director Sigit Endroyono. “We want to feature the beauty of various cultures that exist in perfect harmony.”
The entire ballroom then went dark. A window of one of the houses onstage opened and revealed Indonesian harpist Maya Hasan, in a beaded white chiffon dress, plucking her golden harp. Then a family, consisting of children, parents and grandparents, all dressed in white, came out from the house with a jubilant gait.
“The sequence of the fashion show mirrors activities during Ramadan, which starts from waking up at dawn to pray, fasting for the whole day, breaking the fast, attending a communal prayer session in the evening and finally celebrating Lebaran,” Sigit said.
There were eight sequences in the fashion show. Each sequence presented items with specific colors, styles and patterns. Sarimbit (clothes with similar colors and patterns for couples or the whole family) collections were the highlight of the show.
“This is in line with the main theme of our annual show, ‘For All Generations,’ ” Sigit said. “With the theme, we want to emphasize that everyone, young and old, can look chic and stylish in Shafira.”
The first sequence featured trendy and casual Muslim outfits for men and women. The models appeared in immaculate white cotton blouses and shirts.
Some of the women’s blouses were enhanced with colorful peonies on the hemline. It showed a Chinese Peranakan influence, as peonies were a favorite pattern for Batik Peranakan.
Eyelet embroideries also embellished some of the loose-fitted cotton blouses and skirts, giving them a refreshing light and airy look.
The second sequence featured men’s and women’s fashion items in soft pastel colors. Long tunics, made of silk and chiffon, were layered in alternating colors to create an appealing feminine look on the models.
An open-front kaftan, embellished with white floral embroideries, looked fabulously elegant when paired with a simple white tunic. Made of soft silk chiffon, the pale creme kaftan fluttered gracefully as the model made her way down the catwalk.
“Previously, Shafira was known for its two main colors, maroon and tosca green,” Sigit said. “But, the items would look so boring and similar in a wardrobe. So, we’re now rejuvenating the brand by introducing soft pastel colors into the collection.”
But Shafira also retained its more classic styles and colors for its loyal customers.
The next sequence presented men and women’s outfits that combined Shafira’s typical colors of red and green in simple silhouettes.
The male models wore baju koko (shirts with Mandarin collars) in green khaki. Long horizontal lines embellished some of the men’s shirts. The younger male models wore collarless polo-shirts in tosca green. Bold embroideries in abstract patterns adorned their chests and hemlines.
The following sequence introduced Shafira’s evening wear designs. They featured Batik Tiga Negeri from Lasem, Central Java, for the new evening collection.
“Batik Tiga Negeri is a symbol of unity in diversity,” Sigit said. “The batik combines patterns and colors from Chinese, Arab and Javanese traditions.”
In the new collection, Batik Tiga Negeri was made into formal shirts for men and long abayas with asymmetrical cuts for women. The batik’s bold motifs and colors gave a charming and elegant look on the models.
The final sequence of the show presented Shafira’s limited collection. “They’re made to order,” Sigit said.
There were lots of flowing long tunics in silk chiffon, with Swarovski crystals embellishing some of the dresses. Some of them also featured Burung Hong (phoenix) prints and embroideries.
“In ancient Chinese mythology, Burung Hong symbolizes femininity,” Sigit said. “It also represents love, honor and happiness. So, it’s a very good sign.”
Shafira’s limited-edition pieces are priced between Rp 10 million and Rp 17 million ($1,100 and $1,800) each.
“There are only 40 pieces of each design throughout the country,” Sigit said.
Pieces in the main collection are priced at Rp 300,000 to Rp 1.6 million per piece. There are only 200 pieces per design in Indonesia.
Industry Ministry official Euis Saedah attended the fashion show and was impressed. “Shafira has always been our pride, and they’ve presented a very beautiful collection this evening. Lebaran will definitely be more cheerful in Shafira,” Euis said.
Shafira operates 24 boutiques across Indonesia and is planning to expand its distribution line to Europe soon.
“We’ve visited a number of Indonesian embassies in several European countries this year,” said Fenny Mustafa, founder of Shafira. “And they promised to help. Maybe early next year we’ll present a series of fashion shows and bazaars in Europe.”
Shafira’s website is at www.shafira.com