What is fashion?
Is it something popular that many like to wear? Is it something that characterizes a group of people?
If we approach fashion from this angle then I have to say Indonesia is a colorful place to look at!
First of all people here are very young at heart. From age 0 to 100 many would put on a T-shirt with cartoon characters. Some would wear rich fluffy-homey slippers with them. On the street, in the market or at the university. It is not unusual to see people wearing cute kitty pijamas in town, be it a granny with a Disney princess purse or a 5 year-old hanging off his Mum’s neck.
An important aspect of everyday fashion is the Indonesian “batik”. It is a technique of coloring textiles. They use tiny wax containers with a pipe end to draw intricate patterns on a piece of cloth. Then it gets dumped into a dye (everything will change color except the parts covered in wax). After this the fabric goes into hot water so that the wax would come off leaving the pattern in the original color. This is how they make 1 color, imagine how complicated it is to make many!
Indonesia’s different regions have their own traditional batik colors and patterns. Men wear batik shirts, while women wear scarves, and everyone uses sarongs! What is a sarong? You would ask… A long piece of cloth wrapped around the legs or the body (like a skirt or a dress). Tourists like to give these sarongs more purpose though! It can be a skirt or dress, yeah, and so much more! Towel, blanket, wrap-bag, bed runner, top, scarf, headscarf, beach mat, curtain, baby hammock, sling, rope, apron, table cloth and probably we’ve just started!
Besides batik we have to mention Indonesia’s handwoven silk textiles. These expensive pieces are used to make luxurious sarongs for special occasions like weddings. They go together with so called kebayas, which are like richly embroidered long blouses or cardigan like tops.
Indonesia’s designer fashion focuses on traditional elegant wear. Ideas are based on these lastly mentioned batik and silk fabrics and kebayas. Recently the Arab world has come more into view with flowing sandy colors and sophisticated turbans.
One of the most remarkable designers of the country is Ida Sofyan, who has been in the fashion scene for decades. She combines tradition with her own ideas. Taking inspiration from her homeland West Sumatra as well as other oriental cultures she creates dazzling compositions that will surely leave you speechless! Finding these pieces online can prove quite difficult, so I’ll leave you with some photos to enjoy 🙂
If you suddenly have the urge to get something for yourself, have a look at our shop of little treasures here! Shop TYS!
By: Beata Czifrik