We at Batik&Bubbles have always been huge fans of batik (for obvious reasons ;)), thus it was with much pleasure that we encountered many examples of this beautiful textile during KL Fashion Week earlier this year.
With about 150 designers in total presenting their latest ready to wear, we were delighted to see that some had chosen to feature batik in their latest collections! So let's take you down the fashion aisle to explore the different styles we encountered at the most anticipated fashion event of the year!
FASHION FORWARD BATIK KELANTAN
We were treated to stunning designs by 6 young and emerging designers who happen to be previous participants of the Air Asia Runway Ready Designer Search contest. Celebrating Kelantanese batik, this particular segment was named 'Fashion Forward Ready To Wear: Batik Kelantan' which is under the guidance of YANAS, a foundation set up by Tunku Noor Hayati and Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan.
This collection was particularly exciting, as I always enjoy seeing the creations of young new talent who ultimately have a very fresh perspective on fashion and I was curious to see their take on batik. I was gratifyingly rewarded as piece after piece of creativity seemed to float down the runway. Amazingly funky, yet edgy and beautiful, it was truly inspiring to see how hard the designers had worked to create these pieces.
PIALA SERI ENDON
A collaboration between Yayasan Budi Penyayang and Piala Seri Endon saw the winners of the Piala Seri Endon 2016 competition show off their latest techniques in batik design. The Piala Seri Endon competition was initially set up as part of the Malaysia Batik ~ Crafted for the World movement to provide a platform for young designers to showcase their talents, and be supported and encouraged at the same time.
Various examples of both hand painted and digital printed batik made its way down the catwalk. In particular, I enjoyed contest winner Mohd Faizul Noorizan's "Alunan Mengkuang" (far left) collection which was inspired by the pandanus leaves, which are used to weave traditional mats in Malaysia!
We adored the exuberant menswear designs at Eric Choong, perfect for those who do not shy away from colour. Men have so little opportunity to show off their personality through their clothes, so we think that guys should totally rock it with a bold emblazoning batik print like this!
SYOMIRIZWA GUPTA WITH BATIK SELECTIONS BY ONIATA EFFENDI
Tracing back to his Indonesian and Indian roots, designer Syomirizwa Gupta blew us away with his charming batik and sari-infused fashion designs for Holiday 2018. This time he collaborated with Singapore-based fashion designer Oniatta Effendi who carefully chose hand-painted batik textiles in Jakarta. Both of us at Batik&Bubbles are huge fans of print and colour and we could easily picture ourselves wearing one of these ethnic-inspired pieces any day of the week!
KAVITA BY KAVITA SIDHU
Kavita Sidhu showcased her maiden collection of heavenly batik dresses at fashion week. We concur that these dresses would look absolutely fabulous at a candlelit dinner or whilst sipping a cocktail in a trendy resort in Bali!
These elegant outfits are made from natural plant dyes and are hand-painted on Italian silk; they look effortlessly chic to wear and are ever so perfect for our tropical climate. We can't wait to see what Kavita will be featuring in her next collection and hope that she will be using batik once again!
It was indeed very refreshing for us to view the various forms of batik on offer during this year's fashion week. Local designers seem to be really taking the challenge of working with this traditional fabric and making it more modern by using structured silhouettes and geometric patterns in their designs.
This in turn is a great example of how Malaysian cultural and heritage can be infinitely preserved and revived through the art of batik design and fortunately, there seems to be a growing interest in this. Here's hoping that our designers continue to reinvent and experiment more with batik and implement these textiles into our every day garments so that more people can wear this culturally sustainable fabric every day!
Many thanks again to Andrew Tan of KL Fashion Week for inviting Batik&Bubbles!