East goes west: Meet the Jakarta designers influencing London style

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With diverse Eastern fashion starting to influence Western style, we invited some of Indonesia’s finest young designers to showcase their latest collections at Fenwick of Bond Street.

Read on to hear about what's hot on the Jakarta fashion scene straight from the designers themselves, then get lost in the loose silhouettes from Byvelvet or the dramatic and sensual shapes from Peggy Hartanto at our Jakarta Fashion pop-up, in store until 18 May...

Byvelvet

Founded by Randy W. Sastra and Yessi Kusumo, Byvelvet seeks to serve a purpose: to accommodate the modern woman's need for contemporary clothes as she enters each new chapter in life. According to Sastra and Kusumo, the collections "feature loose, elongated silhouettes to represent a more mature style". We caught up with the duo to hear more about Jakarta's fashion scene...

What are the main differences between Jakarta and London style?

"In the past several years Jakarta has become the rising capital of fashion in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, in our opinion, the city does not have a strong cultural root that supports the fashion movement. Therefore, the people’s styles are easily influenced by a myriad of information or trends from social media. London, on the other hand, has a long history of sub-cultures such as Mod and Teddy Boy that highly influence the city’s modern style."

Describe Jakarta’s fashion in three words...

"Diverse, adaptable, dynamic."

Peggy Hartanto

Peggy Hartanto, who established her eponymous label in 2011, describes her brand as "daring in its simplicity" with a "bold, chic and minimalist" DNA. Targeting the "feminine and chic woman from 20-35 who loves getting attention", the label also celebrate's sophistication and "intelligent sensuality" with dramatic cut-outs and body-skimming silhouettes. As for what determines style in Jakarta? Read on...

What determines what people are wearing in Jakarta?

"We believe weather and cultural background play a huge factor in the way people dress. In Jakarta there's tropical weather all year long, which means people will dress with comfortable materials which can be easily maintained. While in London people appreciate good quality materials, they love layering clothes as the weather is more unpredictable.

Describe Jakarta Fashion in three words...

"Diverse, rich, craftsmanship."

TOTON

Established in 2012 by Toton Januar, TOTON explores Indonesian natural beauty and diverse culture through fashion for the woman who "understands and appreciates different kinds of beauty and luxury and loves art and culture". We asked Januar how he stays inspired...

How does your design process work?

"The muse of my designs will always be Indonesia. The country, the people, the culture, the arts and crafts - it's an endless source of inspiration. However, the world has become one big cultural ‘melting pot’ - while it's important to honour our own culture, you have to allow it to be reworked."

Jakarta vs. London - what's the difference in the fashion world?

"I think the fashion scene in Indonesia, especially ready-to-wear fashion, is still trying to find its perfect form. Having strong influences from the West has made Indonesian fashion grow so much, but on the other hand, it has slowly reduced the confidence of some of Indonesian designers on their own culture and aesthetics. Indonesia is very rich and diverse in term of culture, craftsmanship and inspiration, which is widely appreciated around the world. Thankfully, more and more Indonesian designers (and customers) realize that and are starting to infuse their own heritage in their modern designs. More and more Eastern influences are being embraced both by the East and West and are becoming part of fashion vocabulary.

  

  

SEAN & SHEILA

  

   

Focusing on the contrast between high and low culture – elegance and street life – Sean & Sheila design edgy, romantic and intricate clothes, creating a modern identity for the modern woman.

Inspired by cultural differences, simple aesthetic forms and the vitality of life itself, Sean & Sheila’s collections use complex pattern-making along with handmade embellishments to bridge the innate qualities of East and West.

   

    

MAJOR MINOR

    

   

Launched in 2011 by husband and wife team Ari and Sari Seputra along with two young designers Inneke Margarethe and Ambar Pratiwi, Makor Minor’s ready-to-wear collection oscillates between clean-cut geometric pieces and colourful quirky prints.

With an urban sensibility, Major Minor’s designs stand out among other labels, having garnered international attention in Paris, Tokyo, Singapore and now the United Kingdom.

By Alison Millington