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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Jakarta Post News: Batik Around The World

By: Triwik Kurniasari
Sun, 01/24/2010 12:30 PM, Lifestyle

The art of batik has come a long way from being a mere handicraft. Today, it is at the forefront of fusion in the fashions of the world.

Rico Rinaldi Tono was surprised when he was named as the winner for the fashion category in the Piala Seri Endon Batik designing competition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, recently. The Piala Seri Endon, now in its seventh year, was held in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur International Batik (KLIB) Convention and Exhibition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

The KLIB is a biennial event under the Malaysia Batik - Crafted For the World movement, bringing in more than 20 speakers from various countries (including Singapore, Indonesia, India, Australia, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Japan), as well as holding a three-day batik exhibition.The 23-year-old Malaysian designer beat other participants with his "Republic Flora" collection to bring home a trophy and RM30,000 (US$8,800) in cash.

He opted for floral motifs, drawing inspiration from anti-war efforts in the United States, where the term "Flower Power" was used especially against the Vietnam War during the 1960s.He used satin, chiffon and cotton for his designs, creating floral jodhpurs with boleros for women's casual wear and long black dresses with flowers for women's evening wear, while for men he designed black jodhpurs with floral shirts.
Rico said he was overwhelmed by the victory as all the other designers had showcased creative and fabulous creations.

He started to learn batik shortly before participating in the Malaysian Batik Fashion Accessory Design Competition in 2006, where he also won first prize.He said competitions such as this were a good opportunity for young people to showcase their talent for designing batik."I hope that I can stick to designing batik because, as a designer, my job actually promotes *batik*," he said.

Rico is just one among many people around the world who are trying to preserve batik

read more: The Jakarta Post News: Batik Around The World

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