Ztreet Queen: Comfy Mom-To-Be

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Carrying baby inside your belly can be uneasy sometimes. Therefore, it is very important for me to find comfort on what I am wearing. And here I was exploring Singapore at my ninth month of pregnancy, I was rocking olive tank top and cotton pants combined with skull thong sandal and intrecciato small shoulder leather bag.  The thing is a nice handbag can always be a cherry on the top of my matcha green tea cremé #frappuccino .

Have a good day!

Notes: My Clothes, Your Clothes

Are you wearing fast fashion products either it is from Zara, Pull & Bear, H&M, Bershka and any other? How often do you buy a new outfit? And….have you ever wondered who makes your clothes, under what condition, how do they make it or where do they make it? Well, let me tell you a story.

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Yesterday, my friends and I went to an interesting yet eye-opening trip. We visited one  ready made garment factories in Bangladesh. This trip gave us the opportunity to see how our clothes are manufactured from the scratch. Located 35 kilometer from Dhaka, the factory is owned and run by Beximco Group, a Bangladeshi multinational company. The company manufactures products for a wide range of clients ranging from Zara, Pull&Bear, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger to DKNY. According to its official website, currently the company’s Textile & Apparel Division employs more than 5,150 people.

Bangladesh is known as the second largest ready made garment producer after China. The industry has become one of the largest export earning contribution to the country. According to Dhaka based newspaper The Daily Star, the industry has generated export earning up to USD 28.67 billion as of December 2016. The industry hopes to increase to USD 50 billion by 2021.

SONY DSCThe Bangladesh textile and garment industry employs approximately 4 million people. Most of the workers are women. Every month, they earn approximately 7,000 to 10,000 BDT, this figure is actually slightly higher than its minimum wage which is at 5,300 BDT. According to various local media report, the worker union is demanding that the minimum wage should be increased to 16,000 BDT.

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Some of you might remember the 2013 Rana Plaza incident which caused more than 1,100 killed and 2,500 injured; this incident is known as the deadliest industrial disaster ever. Since the incident, the Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry claims that they have been making effort to improve the factory condition that meet the safety standard. Yet, as we walked around the factory and learnt about its production process, I noticed that many textile and apparel workers are exposed to high level of noise from the machines as well as chemical hazards without any protection which you can see from my pictures. This condition is feared to have a significant impact to the worker’s health. Not forget to mention that many of them spend hours to standing or sitting while doing their work. This made me wonder how much the 2013 Rana Plaza incident has really brought changes to the textile and garment’s industry in Bangladesh.

I must say that this trip has reflected upon me that despite the fact that Bangladesh has become a centre of ready-made garment manufacturing for many global fashion brands, the country is still severely underdeveloped. Additionally, workers tend to have terrible conditions while others get massive profits. Yet, without this sector millions would be unemployed.

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Notes: Diane von Fürstenberg

14079885_10154353134090761_2568458359531648185_n-1Few years ago, I did not know who Diane von Fürstenberg is. However, now she is one of my favorite fashion designers. For me, she is very inspiring, not only as a fashion designer but also as a person, as a woman and as a fighter. But how did I get to know about DVF at the first place?

Well, as  a curious person, I always love getting to know the story behind the dresses or shoes that I have been wearing. During my free time, I often searched for articles, videos or book about those designers, and this is including DVF. I watched  some of her talks and speeches on the Youtube, I also read her memoir “The Woman I Wanted To Be” that I purchased in DVF headquarter in New York few months back. As I finished reading her memoir, I have a great admiration to her. She came across as an incredible woman and extremely inspiring. She is very determine, courageous, adventurous, selfless and also has strong wills within herself.

I myself started falling in love with DVF since I was in love with her iconic jersey wrap dress which she released in the 70s for the very first time. However, I cannot remember clearly how I started falling in love with DVF dresses. Perhaps, if I am not mistaken, it might happen in early 2014 when I started to leave the party night scene. 

Back then, I got bored with my collections which tend to be number of bandage dresses, jeans, long sleeve shirt and cropped top. Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful collections but they tend to be just sexy but not elegant. Other than that, perhaps I also got older. As a result, I wanted something that is more elegant and classy.  Yet, for I like the clean-cut dresses, I had no idea where to find my dream dresses. 

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DVF Headquarter in West Village, New York City [2016:EO]

So one day, I strolled around Jakarta shopping malls to find the clean-cut yet elegant dresses. After entering boutique after boutique, I finally found my first wrap dress. But it was not DVF wrap dress, it was a BCBGmaxazria wrap dress. I like its fabric, jersey; they are light and look elegant. I like the way it drops as I wear it. Although I loved its prints, it was slightly too shinny and I did not really like it. 

Hence, as I really liked the style, I looked for my second wrap dress which looks less shinny. And here was I at DVF boutique in Plaza Indonesia, I found a heaven with plenty  of wrap dresses hanging on the rack. I picked some and tried them on, they indeed looked very sexy and elegant. I said to myself that I could wear them any kind of events, including function event, dinner or even to work. They seem to be very effortless to put on. 

Since then, I often go to DVF boutique regularly to check some of their latest collections. Not to get them right away tho but wait until the end-of-season sales coming; that way I can save some money and plan what I wanted to buy. Not forget to mention that  I would normally get up to 70 percent off from its real price by shopping on the end-of-season sales. Now, I got some of DVF collections ranging from wrap dresses, romper, shirt dresses, silk shirts as well as cardigan.

Another added point of DVF is that unlike many sales girls in the high-end boutique who will not be friendly to customers if customers buy nothing, most of DVF girls also have good attitude, they are not pushy. They will not force you to buy if they do not suit you well. Be they working in Jakarta boutique, Singapore boutique or NYC store in West Village.

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And that is how I got to know who Diane von Fürstenberg is and end up really admiring her as an iconic woman in fashion industry as well as a person. I must say that I learnt a lot from her memoir “The Woman I Wanted To Be“.

Although something gets me thinking and wondering whether or not DVF dresses are sustainably manufactured. As I understand that Diane von Fürstenberg is about woman empowerment and loves natures, does it mean that DVF also implements sustainable business practice in its production through its supplier which has a significant impact to its labors as well as environment around it? As some of you might be aware that DVF has moved its production from Italy to China and China has an urgent environment problem when it comes to garment industry. Having this question being answered actually will determine whether or not I will get my next DVF.

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Ztreet Queen: Dress For The Weather

Grey Turkey [2014: E R]

Grey Turkey [2014: E R]

For a slave of fashion, who come from tropical country, a.k.a myself, visiting four season region gives me a lot of imagination and/or idea about what kind of outfit that I want to wear during the fall and winter season. Whether it is what kind of coat, what kind of boots, what kini of scarf, what kind of jacket, what kind of hat, what kind of glove, what kind of dress, etc. While my imagination is going wild, the weather actually makes me having difficult choice because I have limited collection of fall/winter outfit. I just don’t want to purchase a lot of fall/winter outfits because I realize that I do not need all of those attire when I return to my home country, Indonesia.

The touch of red [2015: E R]

The touch of red [2015: E R]

Anyway, last Christmas, I travelled to Istanbul of Turkey to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Yeah momma…it was winter. On the first few days in Turkey, the weather was pretty good. It was about 17 degree celsius, I had no problem with it. It was cold but it was not freezing cold. I still could deal with it.

it is not real fur but faux fur [2015: E R]

it is not real fur but faux fur [2015: E R]

As the day passed by, the weather got worse and worse. It even dropped to 1 degree celsius. Not just that, it was wet winter with rain and snow. It made me very conscious about what kind of outfit that I was going to wear because no matter how many layer I was wearing, I still suffered from the winter cold.

Dress up for the weather [2015: E R]

Dress up for the weather [2015: E R]

As the weather got worse, I asked myself should I dress for the fashion or should I dress for the weather? I decided that I must dress up for the weather. I ain’t gonna let myself suffering from the cold while enjoying the beauty of Constantinople. Would you?

Cheers

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Ztreet Queen: Sidomukti Skirt

Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Years ago….. I used to be known as an ‘ethnic girl’ because I love wearing ethnic fashion outfit and accessories, be it necklace, earing or skirt, and that is how I called myself, ethnicgirl. However my fashion taste has been changing as time passed by. I left the ethnic girl within me and become some kind of edgy girl. Yet, I still heart some ethnic element in fashion.

I must say that I often find it hard to get something an outfit which bring together the element of ethnic and modern as one combination in fashion product. Many fashion producer might try but I think they fail or I just never like them. That is why ….  I’d always rather to purchase raw material and design it by myself or together with tailor. Why? So I can get the perfect combination of color, pattern and also unique design according to my taste. At the same time, I also could determine the quality of it.

Rocking Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Rocking Sidomukti Skirt [2015: CP]

Few months ago, I went back to my hometown, the city of Yogyakarta. There is one ritual that I always do whenever I go to Yogya, I always go to Mirota Batik in Jalan Malioboro for Batik shopping. Mirota Batik is one of the largest souvenir shop in Yogyakarta. The shop is organized, clean and has a wide variety of products with reasonable price. I got myself a couple of Batik Solo.

As soon as I returned to Jakarta, I asked a good friend of mine, who happened to be a fashion designer, to design a funky skirt for me. And this is it, Sidomukti Skirt by Dreu Lona. Look the different that she made for the front and the back of the skirt. Love it so much! Thank you Miss Naia.

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Ztreet Queen: Chloe Skirt

I am a queen of my own throne [2015: Y N]

I am a queen of my own throne [2015: Y N]

The first time I saw this Chloe Skirt by Dreu Lona, I said to myself… “O my God! I gotta get that piece!

So I called a friend of mine, who happened to be the designer and the owner of Dreu Lona. I told her that I wanted to purchase the Chloe Skirt. Just within three days, Dreu Lona Chloe Skirt was waiting for me at home.

Back that time, I was thinking to wear it for my book launch because I wanted to appear classy. Unfortunately I changed my mind and rather to appear casual.

Dancing with myself [2015: Novi]

Dancing with myself [2015: Novi]

I kept Chloe Skirt in my closet for months until I finally found the perfect top for it. Both top and bottom are made by talented Indonesian designers. They do not just sell their products but unique creativity with quality to make sure that the customer return to them. Not just that, they also empower the local tailor to bring their idea into reality.

Sometimes I rather to purchase a good quality local designer fashion products than ready-to-wear international brands fashion product. It just makes me unique. On the top of that, we help the local economy growing.

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