JFW 10/11 Day 7: Kraton Auguste Soesastro, Simplicity at Its Best

Kraton is a fashion house based in New York City, founded by Auguste Soesastro. Auguste was born in Indonesia but spent a big part of his childhood traveling around the globes. He worked as a curator in Australia for Indonesian arts, specializing in antiques and regional textiles and costumes. He held a degree in Film and Digital Arts from the Australian National University and later studied Fashion at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris, France. He interned at some major haute couture houses during his studies in Paris, and later moved to New York to work for Ralph Rucci, an American couturier. Then he freelanced as a pattern maker at some American high-end leading designers before finally launching his own line in 2008. We wrote about Kraton F/W 09 collection that made a debut during New York Fashion Week in this article.

On this year’s Jakarta Fashion Week, we got the chance to see firsthand the creations of Auguste Soesastro. I was excited then puzzled then amazed. Let me explain.

Kraton fashion show was held on the last day of JFW 10/11. By that time, I saw all kinds of designs, cuts, silhouettes in all kinds of fabrics and colors, added with a wide variety of detailing and embellishments. So when the first face of Kraton models came out, which was Paquita Widjaya, I was surprised to see how simple the outfits were. Then more models came and every one of them was wearing the same basic items of blazers, pants, pleated skirts and some modern kebaya worn with kain wrapped around the models’ wait. It wasn’t until I got to see the models up close that I realized how beautifully done every single piece of the collection was. It was clear that Auguste paid great details on the structure of his outfits, which he said he sew all by himself. The items were in muted colors such as pink, beige and grey, but the models were wrapped in heart-breakingly gorgeous traditional kain such as Songket Nagara from Bali and Songket Pandai Sikek from Sumatera Barat. Those embroidered shawls were enough to give life to the classic outfits. I also love how the models were styled in the simplest way, with their hair tied up in neat buns, wearing big glasses and some of them were even holding a book! It was truly Librarian geeky chic which made me want to run to the nearest shop to get a pair of plastic framed glasses myself :D

Without making unnecessary statements, the wearers of Kraton’s collection will certainly be the most stylish in the room. These are items you want to keep in your closet because you can wear them any time during any season as they are timeless and classic.