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Fashion Evolution: Batik

March 25, 2010



Tribal prints are going to be a huge trend this spring, with fashion favorites, Gucci (top) and Dries van Noten leading the way. A main source of inspiration for these prints are the batik fabrics of Indonesia. Even though it is worlds away from Paris and Milan, all the same, these traditional fabrics stand on their own when contributing to the fashion lexicon.

Growing up in South East Asia, we were surrounded by fabrics such as these, in fact, the famous Singapore Airlines girl’s uniform is a riff off traditional batik prints and styles. It’s comforting and gratifying to know that something so familiar to me as a child could be so fashion forward as an adult.

Fabrics like batik are a way of life in traditional Indonesian culture, as you can see here:

In Singapore, batik designs are incoporated into traditional Peranakan (descendants from the intermarriage of Malays and Chinese) dress called kebayas. I went to a school steeped in Peranakan tradition for ten years, so this style of dressing is very near and dear to my heart. Look at the beautiful lacing and pattern details — and how regal these women are!

If this interests you, BoF has a great article today about the evolution and incorporation of Indonesian fabrics into fashion and takes a look at the country’s own style metamorphoses — check it out, it’s a wonderful, informative read.

Images: Style

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