January 6, 2011

Big trend

Spring collection L.A.M.B.

Reading a new post of Tavi I noticed that there was an African Batik dress hanging behind her & Gwen Stefani. Googling I read that the new L.A.M.B. Spring collection (Gwen's own fashion label) is full of African Batiks.

Gwen Stefani in her own L.A.M.B. African Batik dress

At my new job I read the new fashion magazines like Grazia every week. One of the december issues covered a story of the dress makers for the Vlisco ads. The Vlisco campaigns show beautifully made dresses of the fabrics they sell.

Latest campaign by Vlisco

After seeing the campaign photo's I told Koen that I would only wear Batik from now on on, or at least pattern covered fabrics. Cause I'm not handy with fabric and I don't own a lot of Batiks yet. Any way, I would like visit the store in Helmond soon (and wear only Batik later in life)

Vlisco, P.F. van Vlissingen & Co's Katoenfabrieken, started their fabric legacy around 1852 with exporting hand printed Batiks to the Dutch East Indies, now know as Indonesia. An uncle of Pieter F. van Vlissingen was already trading in Indonesia and told him about the possibilities.

Vlisco "Real Dutch Java Prints", collection Textiel Museum (Tilburg)

Vlisco made very good imitations of well known Batiks, originally made by hand, and these were exported to Indonesia. From 1876 they started with the African Batiks which are now their main business.

From Johanna

I'm now, among other things, preparing the PR for the exhibition of artist Johanna Schweizer for "Spiegelhol" at IDFX. At the last meeting she showed me her Batiks. A unique Vlisco and real ones from Bali. She even gave me one.

But that's not all the African Batiks that come upon my path these last months. My next door neighbor always wears these beautiful African Batiks when she goes to church. Every time I see her, the Batiks remind me of the work of artist Emmy Dijkstra.

In Emmy's early works, mostly black and white graphic prints, the people are wearing traditional (African) clothing.

After her residence in France she got inspired by Tapa (Bark Cloth printed, painted or stamp, with patterns) and made a series of paper dresses. I told her that we should do a residence together. After thinking and talking about it in 2010, we started 2011 with a virtual residence at Virtual Art Winter Residence together. The work we make we hope to show and develop together at a real location later this year.

So the (African) Batik trend continues, in big fashion & small art!

Another thing that really has to happen this year is getting a closer look at the Batik collection of the Textiel Museum in Tilburg. They own a lot of Batiks, from around the world and off course the Vlisco imitations.

Last but not least, my photo book "De reis naar Batik, een vergeten industrie" ("The journey to Batik, an forgotten Industry") is published in the january edition of the Dutch Indonesian magazine Moesson.
You can order the book in Dutch or English by sending me an email at sabine@sabinebolk.nl.

It's going to be a Batik-full year!