‘Batik’ and ‘ikat’ — Asian fabrics take on the global fashion scene

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The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton dons an ikat and batik print in this Diane von Furstenberg cotton wrap dress PHOTO FROM WHATKATEWORE.COM

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton dons an ikat and batik print in this Diane von Furstenberg cotton wrap dress PHOTO FROM WHATKATEWORE.COM

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who has become a veritable fashion icon in so short a time, turned heads once again when she wore a batik and ikat print at an official engagement to Blue Mountains in Winmalee, Australia.

Reported by the website, WhatKate–Wore.com, the classic cross-over wrap dress comes from Diane von Furstenberg’s “Patrice” collection, and features the proudly Asian prints in navy blue and black.

According to EOnline.com the cotton dress sold out within eight minutes of Her Royal Highness’ public appearance, and is only available via “pre-order” now from Furstenberg’s website.

The incredible fashion moment effectively brings the distinct Asian fabrics to the global fashion scene, thus creating a valuable opportunity and raising hopes for hand-made textiles in the continent—including those of the Philippines’—to go mainstream in the near future.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated Indonesian batik, which originated from Java, as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2009.

Batik, which is said to be derived from the word ambatik, which means “a cloth with little dots,” or tritik, which describes a process similar to that of tie-dye techniques, has many expressions.

Central Javanese designs are influenced by traditional patterns and colors, while batik from the north coast of Java has been influenced by Chinese culture, bearing bright colors and more intricate flower and cloud designs.

Ikat, on the other hand, is a technique that uses a resist dyeing process on warp and weft fibers prior to dyeing and weaving.

These exquisite textiles have also found their way the international design houses of Dries Van Noten and Frida Giannini from Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, Nicole Miller, and Filipino-Cebuana Monique Lhuillier, besides that of Furstenberg’s.

And following the Duchess of Cambridge’s batik and ikat outing, the likes Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Richie have also been spotted wearing the modern Asian fashion.

Currently in the Philippines, L’Indochine’s carries a collection of exquisite batik and ikat pieces in contemporary expressions, such as the Calla mixed print batik vests and printed raglan sweaters, ikat harem pants, and wrap skirts with hand drawn flowers. These rich prints can be worn with basic wardrobe items such as crop tops, white blouses, jeans, sweaters, and skirts.

For now, the Philippine abaca has made a mark in bag designs in the international scene, while textile fusions of jute, pina and raffia, have also had positive reception in Philippine fashion expositions and designers’ fashion shows abroad.

L’Indochine is located at the 3rd floor of SM Aura Premier.

TMA

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