Sapto Djojokartiko Marches Ahead

by Allysha Nila
29th March 2019
With a strong Fall/Winter 2019 collection, Sapto Djojokartiko marches ahead of the high fashion pack.

First of all, who knew that the popular rooftop bar, Lucy in the Sky, could create such an exhilarating experience at ten in the morning? After staging his 10th anniversary show at the Aquatic Stadium last year, we can and should expect more unexpected fashion show venues from the Solonese designer. Since the glasshouse was completely stripped for the show, natural light flooded in, making it all the more spacious and bright. The music was ambient and the vibe was calm. It’s what we all needed: a fresh start of the day.

Sapto Djojokartiko’s vision of women was clear—the woman of now. And thank god he’s done away with the “millennial” stuff from last season. No more logomania webbing and all that jazz (although his previous versions were subtle, in complete Djokokartiko-ness). Look after look, the designer sent out clothes that were soft, light, strong, ageless and regal. It was a couture collection, after all (according to the show note). Silhouettes were both voluminous and sleek, with vibrant colours. It’s a brave move from him, as he tends to work on a completely monochromatic palette.

Sapto actually looked pretty far into the past for this collection: all the way to the 8th century of Java, when the Syailendra dynasty first emerged from the peninsula. The bloodline produced the Srivijayan Empire, which was the designer’s main source of inspiration. It’s a great reminder of how much cultural and historical wealth Indonesia possesses, especially in today’s muddied political climate and weakened economy.

Such a behemoth of an inspiration appears on the clothes with a contemporary touch. Perfect geometry met traditional techniques. Ancient architecture weaved perfectly into the feminine designs—temples were the main motif. Gold and copper threads were used. Embroidery remained as Sapto’s playing field. Pastels were clashed with dark olives and blues, which were signatures of the Srivijayan empire. There were ornaments, pleating, texture, colour, drama and modesty. The opening look was a floor-sweeping bright red-tiered dress, with pleats on the high collar and long sleeves. It was perfect for a hijaber.

This collection definitely surpassed his Spring 2019, despite being much smaller in scale compared to last season’s. It ultimately comes down to the fact that his clothes looked far more flattering and invigorating today than last year. Workmanship definitely improved. The colours were arresting. The structure looked more engineered.

Although at times it was reminiscent of Valentino, the Italian couture fashion house peaking in popularity, Sapto has injected a lot of his own vernacular to it. Sapto definitely proposed a new form of opulence. You wish you owned everything.