Burberry Boys

Everyone who follow fashion knew that Burberry has been always committed to support the British young musicians. The music itself has a really important role in all of Burberry Fashion Shows. People worldwide are always waiting which music from which artists will they use and BOOM, they will just be famous because of the fashion show. They even have this cool project on youtube which is called Burberry Acoustic. They’re featuring a full song of British indie bands on their youtube channel and their music are totally amazing, the creative director Christopher Bailey really has a brilliant taste of music which is totally in line with the brand itself. Totally Best of British.

Recently, Burberry has stepped up their game by not only playing a recording music in their famous Kensington Gardens, the venue for all fashion shows as their authenticity. They literally bring the musicians themselves to perform live during the Fashion Shows. In our Man (Men in this case) Crush Monday this time, I am introducing you three young musicians that will make yourselves crazy about their style, and of course their musics. Here we go!

1. Tom Odell

Burberry had used his music several times before we were really WOWed by the surprise performance of his in the fashion show. It was the Women’s wear Autumn Winter 2013 collection where it started. The model who opened the show was Fashion’s It-Girl Edie Campbell, followed by bunch of gorgeous models with the amazing collections. The recorded music was playing beautifully in the background until all of a sudden a major change happened when the wall was opened with Tom Odell on the piano and two lines of backing vocal were there played directly of Odell’s hit “Hold Me”. The moment was magical and the room was filled with excited applause. It was totally one of the best Fashion Shows this decade.

2. George Ezra

I fell in love with George Ezra’s music since the first time I heard his Benjamin Twine playing at the beginning of Autumn Winter 2014 collection. But the real time he gave me goosebumps was when he sang live at the beginning of Burberry Celebrates London in Shanghai show. He was performing one of my most favourite songs “Did You Hear The Rain” with his guitar and a really cool visual effect that Burberry created for the show. His strong deep voice blended in perfection as every tones and lyrics came to my heart through my eyes. George Ezra is such a complete package.

3. James Bay

The currently most-talked-about Burberry performer as he just played for the whole Women’s wear Spring Summer 2015 collection last month in London Fashion Week. His signature long hair and fedora hat stole the attention with his pretty face and magical voice since the first time he played his guitar and performed “Clocks Go Forward”. As the show went on, he continued to play my most favourite of his songs “When We Were On Fire” and closed the show with “Scars”. James Bay didn’t have a wikipedia article by the time he performed at Burberry which totally sucked but thank again to Christopher Bailey and Burberry for introducing him to us and made us fell in love right away. He will surely be the next big thing!

A Year To Remember

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It seemed so long ago yet feel like yesterday, always the same classic thing about time for me. I still remember clearly that Friday night, September 25th, 2013. My family drove me to the airport and bunch of my best friends, people who actually cared about me waited there already just to give me goodbye hugs and kisses before my departure from a hometown for quite a long time, the place that I’ve been living for exactly a year this month.

So here’s the thing with having a lot of friends everywhere: you know that there will be a lot of people who are there for you when you need them, but once you need to go or come back from a really long travel, there are a lot of people that you need to meet as well, but I love it anyway. My flight to Bahrain was actually on the October 1st but I had things going on in Jakarta, the place that I called a second home. Besides meeting with some friends, I managed myself to attend the Pre Departure Training for the Indonesian volunteers of CWY, the program that kinda had a big role of both my social life and career.  Exactly on D-Day, several besties from the program accompanied me to the airport. I called my mom the second before I got to the plane and there I flew with big dreams, all the way to Middle East.

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With the Pontianak’s gang at the airport

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Pre Departure Training of Indonesia – Canada Youth Exchange Program 2013. Stopped by here first before Bahrain. It was the day when most of the cool committees wore yellow coincidentally.

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The minute before I headed to the airport. Glad to be able to catch up with some pals.

OK, despite of the really crappy service and food in Sri Lanka Airlines that I flew with, I think we’re all agree that our excitement of getting to a new place will tolerate any crazy things that happened before hand. I was even too excited to realize that people at the airport’s arrival were kinda *sorry*messy*cough*, you know, some people even were grouping and sat in circle, not necessarily at the corner, but literally anywhere they could find big enough space for them to sit on. That was pretty tacky. But whatever though, the company’s driver was waiting for me outside and in a second, I’ll just step me bare foot for the first time on the Arab land. Fancy!

The travel from the airport to my flat was pretty fun. The city looked tidy and neat but of course, it was pretty hot. I had a little bit of a jet lag because Bahrain is 4 hours behind of Western Indonesia time and went to bed right after. Yes it was a year ago. I repeat, a year ago. A year is the longest time that I didn’t see my family and best friends in person. A year is the longest time that I worked with the same company. A year is the longest time that I stay in a place without any travelling by Plane. When I woke up this morning, a year after I arrived here, there were way more new memories created that I need to share to the readers of this blog, well, if there are any, anyway. But yeah, it’s a 10 hours flight from Indonesia so of course there are way few significant difference between the cultures, the weather, the nature, and any other things that might be predictable or even can surprise you. So here we go again with the breakdown below.

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Al Fateh Grand Mosque. One of Bahrain’s landmarks.

1. Sunday Is The New Monday

The first thing that surprised me from the first day of work was the fact that the weekend in Bahrain, and all Middle Eastern countries are Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Friday. This happens because Friday is a big day of Moslem, it’s like the Moslem version of Christian’s Sunday or Jewish’ Saturday and there will be a prayer at a noon time which is a compulsory to be done by males at the mosque. Friday is also the day of hospitality, to connect and greet each other, so that’s why several stores are also closed on Friday. Saudi Arabia even used to have their weekend on Thursday and Friday but changed to the same day as Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and other Arabs now. So yeah, my week starts on Sunday.

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Bahrain WTC Tower

2. It Does Have Winter!

One of the most famous stereotypes of Middle East is of course that it’s all desert and hot. It might be my own mistake for not being thoughtful and stupidly thought that it would be a forever summer in  Middle East, just like in Borneo where I’m from. But you know what, it’s completely wrong! It started in November and you can’t just go out without any long sleeve on. We have rainy season in Indonesia in the months that ended with “er” (September-December) but the cold is tolerable. Going out with tees and short in those months won’t be a fashion crime. I have way too many of winter clothes that I brought from Canada which could have been nice if only I brought here with me for the Middle Eastern winter. Well, lesson learned though, it’s just another excuse to shop more.

The first rain in November 2013. Bahrain only has rain in November and December in throughout the year.

3. Multicultural (?)

You will be surprised of how plenty of locals that you can meet in the street. Seriously, when you eat in the restaurant, your waiters will be Indian or Filipino. most of other nations who live here are maybe Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and people from other neighboring countries like Persian or Lebanese. If you think that you’ll master Arabic pretty soon, you’re kinda wrong. Everyone speaks English. Bahrain is a really small Island with only 1.234.571 inhabitants and 54% of it are interestingly non Bahraini. As an Indonesian, people always mistakenly think that I’m Filipino which is sometimes really annoying. If I eat in the restaurant and the waiter is Filipino they will just talk in Filipino without any double checking. When I said I’m not Filipino they’ll always say: “Ohh, you look like Filipino.” I used to answer nicely like “Yeah, we’re both from South East Asia” or “You look like Indonesian too” but the more I got that, my answer would be like: “Well yeah, and Korean looks like Japanese, American looks like Canadian, and Kenyan looks like Nigerian.” which most of them might not really understand the sarcasm as well. Duh. I mean, it’s not a bad thing for them to think I’m not Indonesian. But yeah, I’m just too proud of my own Nation and wish that people should ask first, it will be much more polite. The other thing is that here, the word ‘oriental’ means related to Indian things, not like in any other place of the World where it refers to Chinese thing. Interesting, eh?

Some people who still prayed in the middle of a cultural festival located in Prince Salman Bin Khalifa Park

4. The New Vegas

Alcohol is forbidden in most of Arab countries but Bahrain took that as an advantage. They legalize alcohol, even with strict permission, so that it attracts people from neighbor countries. I call Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as the Arab Weekend where many people visit Bahrain especially from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait because they are the closest and to just have some fun. Going to the bar and club or just enjoying fancy restaurants with the best wines. These people spend lots of money for the entertainment and fashion. It’s no secret that Arabics are really wealthy. So yeah, this is kinda like The Vegas of Middle East.

5. Closet and Bidet

In western culture, people use closet and clean their genitalia and inner buttocks with toilet paper when they are done. It is also common in several countries in Europe to have bidet in their lavatory so that they can clean with water. In Indonesia, we used to have squat closet which had been changed to seat toilet in more modern houses. But all seat toilets are always accompanied by a water hose because we’re just not used to clean only with toilet paper and so that we don’t need bidet anymore. Here in Bahrain. I notice that in every single house that I’ve been, they have both seat toilet with water hose and bidet side by side. If they can clean with water from the hose, why do they need bidet anymore then? I just assume myself that it might be for washing their feet if we wanna take wudhu (washing your body parts before you pray in Islam) which I have the function to myself. So I wash other body parts in the sink and wash my feet in the bidet so that the floor will still be dry.

 

Those are pretty much some major highlights. Other than that are maybe just some minor details that most of us know already. But anyway, I want to mention also that the locals here are really kind and friendly. Despite of their own clashes with two religious groups, they treat expats and tourist, whether moslem or not really nicely. I have to raise two of my thumbs for their amazing hospitality.

Above all of these, this past year had been a really valuable learning and experience for me. As a person who love to see the new places and their cultures, Bahrain has contributed many things that I’m sure will be affecting my future socially and professionally. I’ve been to some cool places as well so why don’t we take a look of some pictures I’ve been in.

Triple Poly

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, The Fashion Icon, Natasha Poly scores 3 Vogue covers this October 2014. Enjoy the Russian supermodel each on Vogue Paris, Vogue Turkiye, and Vogue Deutsch.

Vogue Paris with daughter Aleksandra Christina by Mario Testino (Photographer) and James Pecis (Hair Stylist)

Vogue Turkiye photographed by Cuneyt Akeroglu

Vogue Deutsch by Luigi and Iango (Photographer) and Virginia Young (Make Up Artist)

Bonus:

Poly Pur – Vogue Deutsch Editorial

Luigi & Iango (Photographer)

Patti Wilson (Fashion Editor/Stylist)

Virginia Young (Makeup Artist)