You all know my love of discovering emerging design talent and one of the best places to do just that is at Fashion Scout. Scout plays host to some of London Fashion Week‘s blossoming new talent as well as some of the more well established names like Dr Pam Hogg, but one of the most exciting things to witness at Scout is a designer’s debut.
FW18 has seen a plethora of new designers take to the vestibule of Freemason’s Lodge, from Amy Thomson‘s whimsical childlike wonderland, to Kristel Kuslapuu’s knitwear protest, Fashion Scout has got it going on. One of the most anticipates debuts was from designer Monique Soeriaatmadja and her label SOE Jakarta whose FW18 collection The Unexplored Woman, was inspired by the works, life and style of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Inspired by Georgia’s exhibitions in London and Brooklyn, the designer was drawn to the juxtaposition between Georgia’s personal style and her art. Her wardrobe consisted of androgynous black and white; something of a stark contrast to her wildly colourful floral paintings.
SOE Jakarta is by no means new on the fashion scene, whilst the label is new to Scout, SOE Jakarta is actually in its sixth season and was born out of a love affair with hand woven textile and classic, timeless style. The brand is committed to reviving the art of weaving in Indonesia and mixes local artisan techniques with technical fabrics to produce a collection which is as beautiful as it is wearable.
The FW18 collection features handwoven denim made on traditional Indonesian Manual looms which makes SOE Jakarta the first brand to bring this technique to London. The yarn is dyed using natural dye Kayu Tinggi to create warm tones of brown, khaki and sand, reminiscent of the decor and surroundings of O’Keeffe’s New Mexico home.
The look is doubtlessly androgynous, loose fit dresses, jackets, trousers, skirts and shirts dominate the collection in handwoven cotton, crisp poplin and silk organza are layered to create both fitted and oversized shapes which lean towards a strong masculine silhouette. In contrast, feminine detailing is seen on cinched in waists and drawstring detailing.
If the Indonesian influence wasn’t obvious enough, the collection features Batik textile stamp printing in a motif derived from one of O’Keeffe’s blue period paintings entitled ‘Blue Nude’. The combination of O’Keeffe’s love for blue tones and kimono style dresses sees SOE Jakarta translate this into a wonderfully modern oversized shirt dress featuring this very Batik textile print.
For a collection that has been concentrated on such a restricted colour palette, it’s one that has produced some of the most wearable looks of day four, the split front denim pinstriped pant suit and thick bustier jumpsuits layered over loose fit polo necks piqued my interest in terms of styling. Definitely one to watch for future seasons.