Batik is defined technically as a specific method using wax to dye fabrics to create a variety of floral and natural designs. In Malaysia, batik is associated with the national identity and whenever there is any fashion show that focuses on the culture and tradition of the country, you can be sure to catch models wearing batik clothing.
Batik influences have gone all around the globe and no one can exactly pinpoint a single place that originally gave birth to the unique art of textile dyeing. While island of Java, Indonesia has been said to have played a big role in introducing the art of batik, fragments of ancient history found in the first century Egyptian tombs pinpointed to Indian origin.
History aside, in Indonesia, batik art and clothing back in the ancient old days were reserved only for royalty and families of wealth and status.
Today, fortunately you can wear batik even if you’re not of a Sultan descendant without fear of offending the privileged. In this age, batik has gone through fashion revolution that makes it appealing to the younger and trendy crowd who love fashion and its influences can be observed world wide.
Every Malaysian knows where to look for batik!
Batik clothing can be found almost anywhere in Malaysia (okay lah, maybe not literally). Ask anyone on the street, (and if you’re lucky) there might just be kind soul who would show you the way to the batik store. Nowadays, the hand-painted batik designs are made for silk kaftan, scarves and shawls, dresses, pareo, wrap skirts, shirts and more.
My earliest memory of the batik is basically the average memory of most Malaysians who have grandmas who wear them – My late nenek (grandma) used to wear the kain batik (batik sarong) with floral motifs all the time in the kampung (village).
Batik sarongs are lovely when paired with a kebaya – the sexy traditional blouse-dress usually worn by the ladies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Burma, Singapore, and Southern Thailand.
Although we don’t see the younger generation wearing batik sarong on a daily basis while shopping and even bumming around at home (except for special occasions such as Hari Raya and etc..) the batik has infiltrated the more recent fashion by influencing the designs of dresses, shirts, and other fashion accessories. This makes batik more hip and trendy to wear, and is particularly a great choice for those who have a bohemian fashion streak.
Let’s scroll down for a look at how batik appeals to the modern fashion through the following fashion photos.
Do you wear batik? If you do, do you wear it as a part of your fashion statement?
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Here on Fashionista NOW, our one and very own Miss Reverie showcases the latest in fashion trends and its various social implications in our everyday lives. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.