Pants and Scarves for the Fashionable Traveler

  • The new collection of pants is versatile and comfortable.

    The new collection of pants is versatile and comfortable.

  • Dhoti-like pants from Matter's new collection bear a Singaporean-inspired patter.

    Dhoti-like pants from Matter's new collection bear a Singaporean-inspired patter.

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 The story of Singaporean label Matter’s colorful new collection of pants and scarves, Then&There, is one of history and collaboration. Wanting to bring rural textile artisanship back into fashion, Matter’s founders Yvonna Suner and Ren Ho developed (and pulled off) an ambitious concept that reimagines Asian garments and patterns using traditional fabrics and manufacturing methods. They began by enlisting the designers of four prominent Asian brands to re-create a classic pattern from their country, which were translated onto specially-dyed linens, silks, and handspun khadi twills via custom woodblock prints. There’s a geometric print from Foreign Policy recalling the tile patterns of Singapore’s kopitiams; a florid kaleidoscope vision by Botto Studio melding motifs from different parts of India; a triangular pattern from Anthill Fabric Gallery inspired by the Filipino flag; and a pared-down version of Indonesia’s Truntum motif, a symbol of solidarity seen across the archipelago, from Populo Batik. Even the garments themselves take notes from customary dress: pants informed by the drapery of dhotis, wrappings of sarongs, and loose silhouettes of Japanese work pants; and hand-embroidered scarves that are long and light. Most importantly, it’s all very cute (from US$126). —Gabrielle Lipton

This article originally appeared in the December/January print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Foreign Matter”)

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