Thursday, 31 May 2012

From Sultans to Jessica Alba to Dries Van Noten スルタンからジェシカ・アルバあるいはドリス・ヴァン・ノッテンへ

I've learned about this for a long time but never got around to writing about it until now.


I don't remember how I got to know this. Was it by chance while browsing the net? Or was it from the batik fan group on Facebook where I belong to? I can't quite remember.  But it was a much-talked-about issue in the group. The subject was Jessica Alba wearing a dress with batik print. What was so particular was that the batik pattern was definitely a Javanese batik pattern. And this batik pattern has become some sort of signature of Indonesian Javanese batik. Learning that a personage such as Jessica Alba wore this pattern stirred excitement among the members: Batik Goes International!!! It created endless thread in the group.


Photos of Alba at the event "Step Up Women's Network Fourth Annual Fashion Forward Luncheon" At the event Jessica was wearing a dress with batik pattern that appeared to be the famous pattern called Parang Rusak..  

これはアルバの、"Step Up Women's Network Fourth Annual Fashion Forward Luncheon"というイベントでのフォトですが、ここで彼女は、パラン・ルサックという有名なパターンのドレスを着ています。

Parang means dagger or knife like machete and Rusak means broken or damaged. Therefore, Parang Rusak literally means broken or damaged dagger. The word parang appeared in a 14th-century Javanese literature "Negarakertagama" in a form of Parangmuka which means "enemy". So, parang rusak probably means "enemy destroying". Considered sacred and symbolizing authority, power, and nobility, in the past this pattern was only allowed to be worn by the Sultans and their immediate families at the courts of Jogjakarta and Surakarta (Solo). It was also believed that the pattern possessed some kind of protective power. It is said that the Javanese princes would wear this pattern when going to war.


Little princes of the court Jogjakarta wearing batik with Parang Rusak pattern.

Sultan Hamengku Buwana VII of the court Jogjakarta. Ca. 1870 - 1890.
Fortunately nowadays such strict rules where this pattern was preserved for the royal families no longer exist. Everyone can wear this pattern. Thanks to this, the pattern has been an inspiration for some of international fashion designers.


Dries Van Noten's summer collection 2010 was inspired by this pattern.


Sometimes I wonder. If the Javanese Sultans of the olden days witnessed this phenomenon, what would they say about it? Or how would they feel? Would they be proud or furious?..


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Tokyo, I'm comiiiiing! 久々の東京です!

After long waiting and anticipating, we finally got news from a gallery in Tokyo. They are definitely hosting our first exhibition!! They're holding the exhibition from 22nd until 30th of May.

水面下で進めてきた東京での展示会の計画が、正式に決定しました。久々の東京です!場所は東京都大田区にありますブティックDoの本店、こちらで、5月22日から30日まで、『夏だからジャワ更紗』というタイトルで、 開催されます。

The gallery sent us the format of their direct mail.


And I made my own in English :-)


It's a rare opportunity so I'm pretty excited and anxious at the same time. I really hope we finally find the right market for our handmade batiks.


For those of you who live in Tokyo area, if you have a chance, please visit the exhibition.Thank you and see you there! ^o^


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Model For Shawl and Scarf Collection ショール・スカーフ・コレクションのモデルさん

I've been really fortunate to take a Japanese class at Kurayoshi's International Friendship Organization. I get to meet people from different countries and be friends with them.  I've always been interested in different cultures and to know them has been wonderful!


One of my good friends is Samrawit Sisay from Ethiopia. She wants us to call her Samri for short. A very lively and cheerful young woman, newly wed, Samri-san has made our class a very fun class with her spontaneous remarks and laughter. Having moved to Misasa from Addis Ababa following her husband who is pursuing a Ph.D at the Okayama University's Institute For Study of The Earth's Interior she has managed to adapt herself in a tranquil Misasa.


Since she is so bubbly and lively, I thought she would make a great model for my shawls. I was really glad that she happily agreed! I was confident that she would do justice. And she DID!! She loved colors, patterns and everything about the shawls, which made our photo session a GREAT FUN! Just look at these photos and I'm sure you'd agree with me that I made the right choice :-)


Smiling Samri-san

never stopped smiling while I was arranging the shawl

More smile with my newest collection of batik silk scarf for Summer

Smiling Samwri-san with red batik silk scarf


and more laugh!! :-)

Soon I will publish my newest collection of batik silk scarf for Summer. Stay tuned! :-)


Friday, 4 May 2012

MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL FREE SHIPPING: Turquoise Silk Stole/Shawl 母の日に合わせて送料無料セール!ターコイズのシルク・ショール

Free Shipping to everywhere in this month is available at my shop 今月はどこでも送料無料! 

Versatile Light Turquoise Silk Stole/Shawl. Completely handmade and truly original. These are some of the styles. You can create much more.


Tie-knot style

Classic wrap around the neck

Elegant wrap

Gorgeous halter top
Price: $68 (5500円) 

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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Gorgeous Pink Silk Stole for PINK LOVERS!

Though I am not a pink lover myself, I have to admit that the absence of this color would be a disastrous! Pink is certainly a must in my collection of batik silk stole. And why not combining a traditional batik pattern with pink? The result is a luxurious youngish looking silk stole for young ladies who favor PINK!

I happen to love origami so when I look at the size, I come up with soooo many ideas on how to wear it. Check it out and see you can come up with a new style.

Glamorous Halter Top

A Pretty Triangular Wrap using a buckle

Or just draping like this when you're just too lazy to think of any :D

Price: $68 (5500円)

Check here for more information.
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Handmade Batik Silk Shawl: the Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Mother's Day is the day where people show respect to mothers. Families and friends shower them with presents and lavish them with special attention. Generally this celebration honors motherhood and the role of mother in the society.

The history of mother's day dates back over 2000 years in ancient festivals like Egyptian and Greek. Though back then ancient societies inclined to celebrate Goddesses as the symbol of motherhood instead of mothers. The Greek celebrated Rhea, the mother of Gods and some societies in Asia Minor might have worshiped Gaia, the Earth Goddess. Ancient Roman worshiped Cybele in a celebration called Magna Mater. Ancient Egyptian held an annual festival to honor Goddess Isis who was considered the Mother of all pharaohs.

Mother's Day presently is celebrated throughout the world on different dates from February until December. The different dates are due to different historical and traditional backgrounds. Some are attached with traditions or religions. Others are with modern day women's movement. In my home country, Indonesia, for example, Mother's Day is celebrated on 22nd of December because on this date 83 years ago in 1928 the first Indonesian Women Congress commenced. In America, Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May . The woman who initiated this was Julia Ward Howe in 1870 calling on women to join forces  to protest the Civil War which killed sons of mothers. In Japan, 1949 the Japanese society also adopted the second Sunday of May to celebrate mother's day. More on these can be found here.

Despite the criticism that Mother's Day nowadays has been tainted with commercialism, let's not forget that this is probably the only day we are reminded about the presence of Mothers in their lives. Amidst the mostly chaotic everyday life, trying to make ends meet, we tend to take our mothers for granted. Mothers will sustain themselves, we think. Little do we know that they are also humans, just like us. We want other people to pay attention to us, to treat us specially, and to shower us with presents to make us feel loved and appreciated. If it is natural to buy a birthday present for someone we care, isn't it be natural to buy presents for our mothers on Mother's Day?... Of course it IS. Not everybody can afford the time to make a specially handmade present for their mothers. So buying one shouldn't be seen as criticism.

How to choose a present for our mother among the abundant choices in the market? Picking out something that other people might have or wear does not convey our love and respect that we want to express to our mother. She is SPECIAL. Therefore, we should pick out something that only she can have or wear it. A mass-production item does not sound like a good choice since other people too might have it. So, the perfect choice is a HANDMADE item. Because handmade items are usually one of a kind.

Handmade silk shawl is one of the perfect gifts on Mother's Day. Not only that each has its own design and color which can not be found everywhere, silk shawls are the most versatile accessories. It imparts elegance and class to any outfit for any occasion, whether it is formal or casual. Handmade silk shawls are hand-dyed and hand-painted. Another way is by batiking. Batik silk shawl undergoes a handmade process using wax-resist day. Thanks to the nature of its fiber, silk does not need to be prepared (through a process called mordant) in order to receive wax and dye easily. There are three types of batik silk shawls : hand-draw, hand-stamped, and a combination of hand-drawn and hand-stamped. Any kind is unique in itself. Our mother would certainly be really glad to receive such luxury that she can make use of.

For this special occasion, my Jagatara Art offers a special promo called Mother's Day Special, in which you can get free shipping for the purchase of Batik Silk Shawl at my shop: Jagatara Art.