For her first U.S. show, Indonesian designer Rinda Salmun chose Los Angeles because “L.A. is so vibrant, and Indonesian weather and L.A. weather are pretty much the same.” For that and other reasons, it’s easy to imagine an Angeleno wearing Salmun’s clothes.
Her organic white cotton Tenun Garut shirt, with its mandarin collar and patchwork paneled sleeves, would make an interesting replacement for a typical button-down. This one has the added benefit of being made of sustainable fabric, handwoven by artisans in rural West Java. Paired with paneled tenun-print boardshorts, it was simultaneously sporty and elegant, as with the rest of the collection. Metallic and intricately patterned brocades popped up, too, like a version from West Sumatra called Songket Palembang. The use of these materials signal the designer’s commitment to Indonesia. “I want to support the regeneration of the artisans,” Salmun said. “I want to have them be recognized globally.”
Throughout the collection, it seemed as though the models had just come off the beach-sports court-field and gone straight to a social engagement. Highlights of the daytime-to-dinner category were a boarding school blazer with one sleeve referencing a varsity jacket, and black athletic-striped pants paired with a flared-sleeve biker jacket.
Nontoxic production, environmentally friendly fabrics, support of local artisans, and a feeling of cool were all emphasized in this collection. Where Salmun could have improved was fit; some cuts were a little too boxy, others had too much fabric pooling at the waist. Faring better were the evening looks with hand-embroidered crystal details, which were sporty, flattering and young and looked fun to wear.