Conscious Coupling of Formal and Casual at Wilsen Willim and Patrick Owen

by Julius Kensan
21st March 2019
Both Wilsen Willim and Patrick Owen fused formal wear with casual attire to different results at Plaza Indonesia Fashion Week.

It’s an amusing irony that the collection presented by Wilsen Willim was in association with Yayasan Jantung Indonesia (Indonesian Heart Foundation), mainly because many of the models were stumbling halfway through the runway (with oil stain being the likely culprit), causing guests’ hearts to skip a beat (or two). The thing is, one falling model is not out of the ordinary, but take a handful and it’s bound to take the focus away from the clothes. It’s not an exaggeration to claim that eyes were glued on the models for the wrong reason during the designer’s eponymous label collection showcase.

Anyhow, Wilsen kept the idea simple – structured on top and fluid at the bottom. The focus here is predominantly on the outerwears that often come in double-breasted jackets and trench coat dresses. Wilsen has a knack for incorporating informal twists into workwear, like tailoring a biker jacket with suit fabric fit to the body.

Although models falling on the runway isn’t something Wilsen has control over, the same can’t be said about the details on the clothes because often times, they fall short. For example, the oversized sleeve placket with a snap button intended to look oversized appears unfinished as if an error has occurred during the process of drafting the pattern. Plus, many of the pieces weren’t ironed or pressed properly before they were sent down the runway.

No doubt Wilsen would have benefitted from having more time to work on the collection. But as we all know, the lack of time is just another standard stumbling block for virtually all designers out there. The output could have been adjusted according to the given timeline.

While Wilsen’s forte is in toning down the seriousness of workwear, Patrick Owen belongs in the opposite of the ring. The collection for his eponymous label is all about elevating casual wear by borrowing elements of college uniforms – the stripes from cricket sweaters were incorporated as details on dresses and skirts, while the shirts sport an oversized look of that’s reminiscent of catholic monk’s robe.

Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward collection. But as usual, Patrick loves to kick it up a little. A clear PVC strip curtain portal was installed in the middle of runway where every model has to part them to get through. A monotonous clacking sound of machines served as the soundtrack as if the models were marching from their workstation in a factory.

Was it about the relationship between human and machine? Was it something sinister? Maybe Patrick intends to leave it open ended. Or maybe it was just a concept employed to enhance the runway. Nevertheless, the collection was polished and clear from the get-go.