I really believe in that saying, because I always love Bali! The beauty of the infamous island is eternally acknowledged, not only by the locals, but also the world.
I mean, who doesn’t love Bali! And if you think Bali is only about amazing nature and beautiful tradition, think again, because lately, Bali has emerged one more thing for you to adore; Batik Bali.
Batik is one of the proudly acclaimed heritages of Indonesia. Batik has been an inspiration to many best Indonesia fashion labels. It has emerged from traditional fabric to a fashion statement, along with other traditional fabric such as Tenun and Songket. And after a long time Javanese Batik has been the only well-known Batik, Bali is trying to make its own spotlight by introducing Batik Bali to the fashion market.
Until now, Batik Bali is still not as popular as Poleng pattern, even though it has been traditionally produced since the 70s. If you are not familiar with Poleng pattern, it is actually what we have known as Barong fabric; the black-and-white checkered fabric that has been Bali’s signature since you can always see this fabric in all over Bali, from the men’s headwear, to what they use to cover stone temples and trees.
That brings this year’s Indonesia Fashion Week 2016 and Balinese provincial government (represented by Gianyar regency) working together to present a fashion show specially dedicated to Balinese traditional Batik and Tenun patterns, entitled “Gianyar Cultural Wonders”. The beauty of these traditional fabrics was interpreted by the works of 3 best Indonesian designers; bintang mirA, Tude Togog, and Tjok Abi.
Even though they have different styles, the 3 designers all showed the same redline; Balinese traditional fabrics. Several Batik Bali and Tenun Bali patterns were combined with both traditional and contemporary designs, and both earthy and bright colors. The result? It was a beautiful piece of moving arts for the fashion enthusiasts.
I was so lucky to be able to attend the fashion show and make a report about it. Here are the highlights from “Gianyar Cultural Wonders” fashion show:
A-maze-ing Patra Mesir Pattern from bintang mirA
bintang mirA presented Patra Mesir pattern as her main inspiration for the collection she called ‘Bali Batikku’ specially created for this show. Patra Mesir is Balinese traditional pattern resembles a labyrinth, with cross lines and corners. Patra Mesir is also what inspires Swastika symbol, a Hindu symbol that looks like the simplest labyrinth.
The traditional pattern was applied as details on the contemporary designs, such as palazzo pants, A-line skirt and mermaid dress. bintang mirA used red, golden yellow, classic black and earthy brown color palettes to bring out the classy and elegant impressions.
Tenun Patra in Bright Colors from Tude Togog
Slightly different from bintang mirA and her elegant-earthy colors, Tude Togog chose fresh colors such as green and blue for his collection. The colors appeared in Tenun-based fabric with Patra Bali pattern on it. It made the fabric looked a bit like Songket.
The unique part of his collection was the fact that this fabric wasn’t only used as detail, but instead it was the main material for the whole ready-to-wear oufits from shift dress, pencil skirt, blazer, to long vest.
Tenun Bali Drama from Tjok Abi
Taking a major different path, Tjok Abi chose dramatic looks over contemporary designs. The collection consisted of avant-garde gowns in classic feminine silhouette, in regal red, gold and black-colored Tenun Bali. If that wasn’t breath-taking enough, Tjok Abi associated the traditional Balinese fabric with crown-like headpieces and oriental signature details such as Japanese obi and Chinese cheongsam. What an exquisite collaboration!
This show was the first show I attended on this year’s Indonesia Fashion Week, and it was a great start. It was way more than I expected when I knew I was gonna attend a fashion show about Batik. I am more proud in Indonesia’s traditional cultures more than ever. And I fell in love more deeply with Bali.
It was also my first time ever attending fashion show with Bali atmosphere, as the opening and closing we were given a Balinese traditional performances.
I hope there would be more fashion shows and designers that showcase Balinese Batik, so it can be as popular as Javanese Batik.
*All photos are taken by me*