Fred Perry Decks Jakarta in UK Underground Fashion

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Fred Perry Outlet in Plaza Senayan (JG Photos/ Tunggul Wirajuda)

The polo shirts adorned with the familiar laurel wreaths of the Fred Perry brand fill the racks of the boutique. Long known for iconic features like the wreaths, cuff and collar tipping that define the brand, their understated yet distinctive cut made them the garment of choice for British bands like Oasis and Blur, as well as youth movements inspired by British music like the Mods, suedeheads, and rude boys.

The place is none other than Fred Perry’s all-new Authentic Shop at Jakarta’s Plaza Senayan mall.

“This Fred Perry outlet pays tribute to the underground British music scene and independent album stores,” says Fred Perry spokeswoman Cecilia Salim.

“It’s also a nod to the music halls in cities like London, Liverpool and Manchester, where bands like the Beatles, Oasis and Coldplay first cut their teeth. This musical emphasis makes this Fred Perry outlet different from the other stores in the Plaza Indonesia and Kota Kasablanka malls, which take as their themes British subculture and sports legends, respectively.”

The allusion to music can be seen immediately. The customized speakers, overhead lights resembling microphones, and merchandise boxes evoke the looks of music halls and album stores, which are further emphasized by the exposed concrete walls and blackened steel finishings. The store, laid out over nearly 1,400 square meters, maximizes its frontage, allowing passersby to have a good look inside.

The theme is furthered by the homage to late British soul diva Amy Winehouse.

“The outfits of [Fred Perry’s] Amy Winehouse collection are designed by her designer, Amy Molyneux. The proceeds will go toward the Amy Winehouse Foundation” says Helen Tencate, another spokeswoman for the brand.

But the music-oriented collection is not the only thing that Fred Perry has up its sleeve.

In its press release, the company says the Plaza Senayan shop will also feature the autumn/winter line from Fred Perry’s Japan Collection, as well as its authentic men’s, women’s and children’s collections. The men’s line continues its use of Murray, Black Watch and Stewart tartan, a nod to British tennis star Andy Murray’s run to the Wimbledon championship in 2013 — the first time a Briton had won the prestigious tournament since Perry himself lifted the trophy back in 1937.

The expansion of the motif, which is coupled with its trademark twin tipping dimensions and heritage colors, includes its use in button-down Oxford shirts and jacket linings as well as polo shirts. The men’s line also incorporates British Army DPM camouflage patterns, particularly in its fishtail parkas and button-down gingham shirts.

The women’s collection features a retro ’60s and tomboyish style, as well as a distinctive style on the Fred Perry shirt, which comes in a range of seasonal shades, including tawny port, cerise, rich rust and dark carbon with magenta tipping. The shirt’s ubiquitous laurel wreath motif is also turned on its head, overlapping to form new floral prints that bring out a hard-edged graphic element to the women’s collection.

Fred Perry points out that the design is meant to bring a new element to the existing range of black, white and gray. Subtle off-kilter touches include polka dots in contrasting scales or tonal quilting, as well as a modern take on Aran knitwear with color pop and oversized twin tipping.

The collection has a distinctive take on tartan, subverting and twisting the classic motif to update it. The pattern is digitally printed and contrasted on shirts and shirt dresses to give them a tougher attitude. The tartan is also blown up and oversized to make for bold polo shirts and knitwear.

The outlet also offers a range of accessories like tote bags, knapsacks and canvas duffel bags in tartan, DPM camouflage and other patterns. The choices are nearly endless.

Originally published in The Jakarta Globe on August 1, 2014

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