National Fashion Image of Indonesia’s First Lady

Suciati ., Agus Sachari


Since its independence to its reformation era, Indonesia has had five first ladies comprising Fatmawati, R.Ay. Siti Hartinah, Hasri Ainun, Sinta Nuriyah, and Kristiani Herrawati. Since then, the first lady’s fashion has been recognized as Indonesia national fashion through presidential decree No.18 year 1972, national fashion workshop in 1978 in Jakarta, and also Indonesia’s constitution No.9 year 2010 stating that national fashion is one of the compulsory items in national events. Fashion image of the first lady is not only considered good looking yes it has also cultural and philosophical values, appears to be lady-look, and has good characters. This article discusses the appearance and philosophical aspects of Indonesia’s first ladies’ fashion and how the fashion represents the graceful image of a first lady. Visualization of the first ladies is identified using historical method while their national fashion is studied through content analysis. Having analyzed the data collected, this study finds out that each first lady’s fashion kept changing from one to another. The changes are not only influenced by the era each first lady was leading and which culture they came from but also from how they understand their position as the first lady; either when they have to meet their citizens or when they interact with fellow first ladies from other countries. Finally, this study concludes that first ladies’ fashion contains a lot of political and cultural messages as an effort to preserve the national identity.

Keywords: National fashion, Image, First Lady, Kebaya, Lady-look, Identity

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