Alula is a 26-year-old illustrator, (novice) embroider and wearable artist based in Jakarta and NYC.
What’s your relationship with your mother like?
It’s honestly really weird. I grew up with her grooming me to be a socialite teen etc but now she just leaves me be but I still have some resentment from my earlier days.
Can you tell us a bit about your style? Who/what is your biggest influence?
My personal style is sort of a mix up between hypebeast sneakers and myspace mall goths and gross anime otaku vibes. I’m heavily inspired by Japanese street fashion and Harajuku culture, but honestly, I just like comfort. At the same time, I love cosplay and implementing elements of what game I play or what anime I’m currently watching into my daily outfits is always fun.
How is your style different from or similar to your mom’s expectations?
My mom wants me to be toned down most of the time so I just end up wearing all black when I’m with her, which is already my style.
How do these expectations fit into the larger context of her living/having lived in Indonesia?
When my mom expects me to dress how she wants me to dress that was when she was on her socialite days so I guess her friendship circles really affected her decision to tone police what I wear
How do these societal/personal expectations affect your identity and behaviour?
Honestly, it made me aware of the huge privilege I have coming from a pretty well off family and it made me realize I’m out of touch with most things, at least in Jakarta.
If you are living/have lived in a Western country, how has this experience affect the way you dress and/or present yourself?
When I lived in New York City I was definitely more all out when it comes to personal styling. Nobody from my past knows me in NYC so I was able to go from a clean slate and start over. I met a lot of people that are into what I’m into and it was nice being surrounded by people with the same mindset.
Is there a perception of femininity that you hope could change in Indonesian society?
The notion that being a girl means you’re not supposed to show how horny you are is upsetting to me. We’re all filthy humans with sexual desires – there’s no need to hide that, it’s 2018.