Designer Aims to Bring Back Batik

Models paraded the latest shirts at Alleira Batik’s fashion show on Jan. 18. The show was titled #Urban Meets Nature’ and showcased 20 men’s casual shirts.

Men are getting more #fashion-conscious these days. They are no longer hiding behind drab oversized shirts in dull gray or white. Like women, they also want to show off their best assets with their #clothing. They aggressively experiment with colors, fabrics and styles that best represent their personality, status and power.

The high-end batik house, Alleira Batik, is picking up on this trend.

“Our [male] customers have been demanding fitted men’s shirts with bolder patterns for about the last two years,” said Zakaria Hamzah, director of Alleira Batik. “They wanted something that will make them look fashionably fresh.”

Alleira Batik was established in October 2005 under the name Allure Batik. In May 2010, the batik house changed its name to Alleira Batik and expanded to international markets.

In response to customers’ demands, Alleira Batik conducted thorough market research and product development. On Jan. 18, it launched its first collection of fitted men’s shirts during a fashion show at its boutique in Plaza Indonesia.

The fashion show, called “Urban Meets Nature,” showcased 20 casual men’s shirts with bold batik patterns and colors, embellished with shoulder straps, metal zippers and yokes (a patch of fabric located on the upper back of a shirt).

“The shirts are 10 centimeters slimmer around the waist than our regular-fitted shirts,” Zakaria said.

The fashion show was in four sequences.

The first one, “Lapis Lazuli Sea,” showcased fitted men’s shirts in deep blue colors with splashes of green, orange and burgundy. They combined the traditional patterns of kawung (palms) and parang (knives) with geometrical designs.

Particularly eye-catching was the men’s shirt that combined a large floral pattern with beautifully intertwining branches.

The second sequence, “Humble Earth,” presented men’s shirts in earthy colors like brown, terracotta, purple and blue.

A shirt that enthralled the audience combined solid brown on the right side and a combination of terracotta, black and purple hues on the left side.

“Batik is versatile,” Zakaria said. “It’s comfortable to wear and will compliment your #jeans as well as any other #casual shirt.”

All the batik in these #shirts has been hand-stamped in Alleira’s workshop in Kawasan Industri (Industrial Area) 3, Tangerang.

The third sequence, “Before Sunset,” featured an interesting mix of batik shirts and sarongs. The shirts’ deep blue and indigo colors were reminiscent of a sunset.

As is typical with Alleira Batik collections, these shirts have an interesting mix of colors, which are the result of multiple coloring steps that combine dyeing and spraying the fabric.

“Terracotta Sunset” was fourth with bold colors of orange, red and terracotta.

“It’s our tribute to Chinese New Year,” Zakaria said.

The final sequence showcased an attractive mix of solid colors and patterns.

A crimson-colored shirt combined horizontal zebra stripes with the traditional batik kawung pattern.

“It’s a celebration of nature,” said Teddy Eriana, a designer at Alleira Batik. “It’s always been my main source for inspiration.”

Born in Tasikmalaya, West Java, in 1985, Teddy as a child wanted to become a soldier. But his love for nature drew him to study geology at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in 2003.

But Teddy could not finish his studies because of financial constraints. Consequently, he moved to Surabaya to work for Peter Steinebronn, a German designer that produces ski jackets for #ladies.

“He has inspired me to become a fashion designer,” Teddy said. “He taught me everything about fabrics, pattern-making and designing clothes.”

In 2011, Teddy moved to Jakarta and joined Alleira Batik.

“Batik is our traditional heritage and we should all be proud of it,” he said. “Yet, not many young people want to wear it.”

So, Teddy lent his creative touches to Alleira Batik and presented its first collection of fitted men’s shirts.

Fedi Nuril, an actor and a guitarist for the band Garasi, attended the show and was impressed with the shirts.

“They’re quite trendy,” Fedi said. “It’s about time batik adapted to contemporary fashion trends [for men] and adopted a fresher look.”

Fedi prefers his Batik #shirts #slim-fit with bold brown colors.

“I usually wear [batik shirts] buttoned-up to the top and pair it with #skinny jeans,” he said. “That’s my personalized British preppy look [with batik],” Fedi said.

Teddy hopes his new collection will spark a renaissance for batik, particularly among young urban men.

“With attractive colors and designs, I hope more of them will wear batik to the office or when they’re hanging out with friends,” Teddy said. “They’d stand out more among their peers and look awesome.”

Urban Clothing
Urban Clothes

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