Working under a theme called “suku,” which means nation in Indonesian, Ivan Gunawan respected his country’s traditions but modernized it in easy, contemporary silhouettes.
Working in cotton, silk, linen and lace for his fourth collection, he updated the palette of a traditional ikat pattern from sand and wood into black and white. He also layered a colorful floral pattern on top of a warm batik print.
“I’m doing something new with traditional things,” Gunawan said after the runway show for his label called Jajaka in Los Angeles.
Among his women’s designs, he crafted batik textiles into cropped tops and off-the-shoulder dresses trimmed with striped elastic bands that were borrowed from activewear. Reflecting the modesty in the predominantly Muslim country, Gunawan used nude-colored netting for geometric cutouts exposing the sides of a long, curve-hugging dress.
For men, he spruced up pullover sweatshirts with gold ikat and burgundy panels. Ikat fabric also formed the foundation for slim tapered pants that zipped at the ankle as well as a jacket that unzipped in the front with a cutaway hem. A sarong was tweaked into linen pants cropped at the knee and twisted on top.
Bold and vibrant, the collection would be a stretch for an American customer to wear head to toe. But it was full of individual pieces that could be worn to make a statement, especially by a lover of ethnic prints during next year’s music festival season.