Sep 20, 2013 5:49PM

Interview & Lookbook: Suku

Dream baby, dream.

Chrisine Lafian is the Melbourne-based, Indonesian designer, who had a dream. Her recently launched label, Suku, is the result of this dream. The label's debut collection is a mixture of homewares, linen, handmade textiles and modern fabrications. The 'Dream Baby, Dream' lookbook is a super chill offering, that shows off the line's amazing pieces, created by blending traditional Indonesian fabrics with other self-sourced gems. But get this, it's all thanks to the band Suicide. We caught up with Christine for the back story behind the founding of Suku. 

Jerico Mandybur: Describe the best dream you've ever had?
Christine Lafian: The ones that come true!

Can you tell us the story of how the idea to start Suku came to you? 
It was on one lazy summer day last year. I remember, I was still sedated from my sleep, wrapped in my soft bed. 'Dream Baby Dream' by Suicide was playing. I’ve always wanted to create my own homewares. The lyric kept repeating “Come on baby, you gotta keep those dreams burnin'”. It’s like those guys were talking to me. You know that state when you’re half asleep, almost hypnotised. So Suicide made me do it.
What drew you to working with linen and home wares?
I’ve always felt your home reflects you as a person as much as your fashion sense does. My favourite place in the world is my bed, so it makes sense that if I ever want to create something, it would be homeware and I would start with linen.
Where have your fabric sourcing travels taken you?
Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, and I have so many more place to go. The world is so big, with so much to inspire me.
What are some the things you like doing with your creations?
In Indonesia, women in the village own their own sarong that they use for pretty much everything. Carrying their fruit, their children, as a skirt, and they wrap their body with it at night. I want to create something that is not just a decorative piece. The Suku idea was to create something that is multi-functional. I love wearing the runners as turbans and scarves, and of course, using them as table runners.
What do you like about using traditional, sourced textiles?
As an Indonesian ex-pat, it’s nice to bring work to the local community and to help preserve and promote traditional manufacturing practices. They’re hand made. It takes weeks (even months!) to make it. Much of their beauty comes from the small imperfections.
What's the secret to a good night's sleep?
Really really good linen!
Where does the label's name, Suku, come from?
Suku means 'tribes' in Indonesian.
Home is… 
Curled up in your own bed. 
Photos: Charlie Brophy