Title : The Edge Market covering how Kapten Batik is making batik chic and versatile.
Date : 7th Feb 2019
Description: Wearing batik is normally reserved for weddings and government servants. Kapten Batik wants to make it a part of your everyday wardrobe.
Head over here to see more collections in Kapten Batik.
Title : Modern Batik: From Culture to Couture by Tun Razak Exchange
Date : 11 March 2019
When it comes to contemporary Malaysian fashion, no other item has experienced more of a ‘glow up’ than batik. What had been a traditional garment, worn only by elders at home or to formal events, has exploded among the chic and trendy in Kuala Lumpur.
Driven by creative independent designers, this age-old artform – lightweight, beautiful and perfect for tropical weather - has been transformed into practical yet stylish outfits and accessories. Today, we see batik adorning anything from hair accessories and tote bags to shift dresses, easy shirts, drapey blouses, wrap skirts and more.
Reimagining batik for the modern Malaysian
Kapten Batik was founded by two engineers, Farhan Omar and Mohamad Ekram Faiz, who deviated from their career paths to make men’s shirts with batik sourced from various parts of the world. Their designs feature batik from as near as Terengganu and Kelantan to Cirebon and Pekalongan in Indonesia, and as far as Jaipur in India.
Speaking to the New Straits Times, Farhan described their method: “We went to places that are out of the way because we wanted to find prints that are unique and exclusive to us.
“We can’t use the same designs as other brands, because part of our plan is to make Kapten Batik the leader in men’s batik shirts.”
Using artisanal handicraft and traditional textiles, the ready-to-wear label focuses exclusively on creating slim fit men’s shirts with contemporary designs that meet the needs of young and sophisticated urban men. As a result, it has cultivated strong support from this demographic.
This includes KL-based content creator, Rafael Stale, who remembers batik as loose-fitting silk with bright hand-drawn designs that his father would wear to work and formal events, which differs significantly from his own tastes.
“For my generation, we prefer fitted cuts, more muted colour schemes and block prints,” Rafael shares.
“Kapten Batik offers well-tailored shirts with a variety of patterns and materials, so I can always find something elegant to suit me,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Brava Batik caters to the modern woman in a tropical climate. Popular for its
trademark reversible slip-on summer dresses, the label makes full use of the material’s lightweight qualities that are so perfect for the hot and humid weather of Malaysia.
Founder, Raz Bahari, grew up watching her mother wear batik sarongs every day and was fascinated by the textile and the process to create it. She observed what white-collar professionals wore to work and was surprised that there was very little batik. So, she designed her own dress from batik material bought on holiday in Terengganu and received numerous queries as to its provenance.
From there, Brava Batik was born, and very quickly received a strong reception, gaining exposure from the media and included in Malaysia Tourism Centre’s (MaTIC)’s annual Batik Fest last year.
The versatility and elegance of Batik has even encouraged the founding of social enterprises like Batik Boutique, an initiative that employs local artisans to create beautiful and contemporary batik apparel with an outlet in Kuala Lumpur and an online store that ships internationally.
Thanks to the creativity of fashion entrepreneurs, batik has been reborn, melding a timeless tradition with modern aesthetic appeal so that it can be worn by anyone, anywhere, today. Beyond becoming a fit for purpose apparel that locals can wear for work and leisure, batik is claiming its position as a Malaysian heritage textile fit for the global market.
Title : Top things to do at the art-centric The Linc KL mall by Options (The Edge)
Date : 20 March 2019
At the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak is a new two-storey mall with an artsy focus. Spanning about 130,000 sq ft, The Linc KL is surrounded by art installations, multiple eateries and home-grown shops catering to locals and visitors.
Punctuated with pockets of green, the mall has little distinct features that sets it apart from the rest. Chairman of The Linc Development Sdn Bhd Tan Yew Jin put it quite aptly, “One of the challenges given to the design team when we first started this project, is that the trees would stay. The team has done an amazing job by incorporating the existing trees into the overall mall design.” Here are just some of the things you can do at this brand new retail destination that offers a slice of quiet in our bustling city.
Other than the grand trees and surrounding greenery, what really makes The Linc KL unique is the artworks that breathe life into the area. During our media preview, an art installation consisting of 41,600 paper doves was revealed in dramatic fashion, complete with a moving performance by Odissi dancer, January Low. Made up of 40 beautiful colours, the origami piece was put together in six months by the staff of Property Division to celebrate unity, love and peace.
With a multicultural mindset, The Linc KL has made it a point to include restaurants from a wide range of cuisines. On the ground floor, there's Spice Garden, an award-winning Indian restaurant. Next door is Wrappe, an outlet offering a variety of wholesome wraps and sandwiches, and Ben’s Independent Grocer, where you can grab a snack at the Independent Coffee & Crumbs Bakery or even build your own yoghurt tub from an assortment of granola, fruits, nuts and superfoods at Glow. For dessert and coffee, head to Bean Brothers, which just opened its second store filled with greenery.
On the first floor, Bo All Day Dining serves delicious and healthy food sourced from organic local farmers in an elegantly designed space while Ben's offers hearty, shareable dishes that are perfect for weekend brunches. Just next door, Harriston Chocolatier’s first signature outlet sells locally-made chocolates with unique flavours such as ginger, chilli and curry. Moving up to the second floor, De.Wan 1958 by Chef Wan presents the experience of a modern Malaysian culinary adventure.
The Linc KL prides itself on honouring local enterprises, such as Kapten Batik, a popular online retail business selling batik-inspired apparel for the younger generation; and Bendang Artisan, an award-winning local handmade ceramic ware outlet with contemporary yet functional pieces in favour of simple and sustainable design, on the second floor.
Pasu Crafted, located on the ground floor, is a new brand to the scene, which claims to educate customers on the advantages of indoor plants by introducing stylish pieces to beautify indoor spaces.
Turning its focus on community, The Linc KL has teamed up with PurpoSE Malaysia to create a Sunday Market at the centre courtyard on its ground floor, which will be used to organise workshops every now and then. The mall’s interest in sustainability also caught the eye of Frangipani Bulk and is now the home of this popular online retailer’s first physical store.
On top of that, ‘escape room’ Hauntu by Breakout makes a fun addition to the mall, bringing custoemrs a blend of live theatre, role play and storytelling featuring real actors and intricate mazes that revolve around colonial hotel filled with paranormal activities.
Title : Raya 2020: Last-minute shopping with Riuh Raya Rumah by Options (The Edge)
Date : 15 May 2020
For years, Riuh's bazaars have brought together artists, performers and vendors of artisanal products under one roof to showcase their talents and creative works. However, what would normally be the biggest edition of the weekend soiree — previous pre-Raya bazaars welcomed thousands of visitors — is now virtual as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. The digital edition, Riuh Raya Rumah, takes place on Instagram until May 17.
Riuh’s festival-like gatherings have always been educating visitors on homegrown brands, but now more than ever, their efforts will help keep these businesses afloat in trying times. Over 80 artisanal brands are featured this time round and vouchers worth RM30,000 are for grabs (the first 30 purchases for each brand can use the code ‘RIUH20’ to enjoy a RM20 discount).
If you're still in need of last-minute items for Raya, here are some suggestions to add to your cart.
If you haven’t had your Raya OOTD sorted, browse through Totomi’s newest collection, which features timeless silhouettes that look good even for everyday wear. Besides, the brand is donating 50% of all proceeds to Feed The Faith, a fund that supports those affected by the Covid-19 crisis. For contemporary batik pieces, Parca’s selection will not disappoint. Think flattering cuts, bold colours and intricate designs. Don’t forget to use ‘TOGETHER20’ to get 20% off your order. And if you’re in the type of family that matches outfits, Kapten Batik and Jari Alana have looks that will please both the grandparents and the kids.
Accessories can either make or break an outfit. These Malaysian brands have dedicated themselves to offer only the best products to complement your personality. Gung Jewellery's elegant pieces are intricate, unique, and crafted with quality materials in South Korea. Prices are not overly exorbitant, so additional purchases are justified. Slip into a new pair of sandals artisanally made by notable homegrown Southeast Asian brands such as Philippines-based Cora & Bear and Indonesian label Yubi, which MariMari carries. Both the brands have been featured in internationally acclaimed fashion magazines British Vogue and Harpers Bazaar US.
For bags that are kinder to the planet, check out Mic & Ben, whose products are made from environment-friendly materials and in limited quantities.
It can be tough to shop for friends or relatives with discerning, individual taste. But these brands will put a smile on the face of even the most pernickety style die-hards. Eco-friendly scented candles by OiLilin, made from recycled cooking oil, bring a warm vibe into one’s home. The homegrown brand offers candle making kits too (pick from flavours such as apple, fig milk, jasmine, blueberry or spice wood) for the ultimate crafts-lover. For more fragranced wax, Zephyrie's Lullaby candle (with lavender and tangerine scent) immediately brightens the mood in your living space, especially when we'll be staying home mostly this festive season. If you’re looking for gifts to spoil the kids, ChubbyFingersPlay Kids Store stocks homemade beeswax crayon that will keep the little ones busy.
The Conditional Control Movement Order (CMCO) is still ongoing but it doesn’t mean your sense of style and body care should be on lockdown. Since mani- and pedicure services are still not permissible, get your nails done in under 10 minutes with WrapIt Nails instant art designs. Bid goodbye to expensive manicures, smudges and chemical scents. Dandifying your fingers aside, don’t neglect your beauty routine too: Handmade Heroes prides itself on vegan and cruelty-free essentials, from cocoa lip tint and fruit-based sorbet lip balms to face masks. If we look after our health by paying close attention to the ingredients we consume, the same logic and care should be applied to our skin.
FOOD & DRINKS
It’s easy to get carried away with indulgent treats when Raya rolls around, so swap sugary drinks for WonderBrew’s handcrafted kombucha that helps detox and improve your digestion. Just for this festive period, the local brand has created Puteri Blush — a concoction of organic roselle, organic lime, organic black tea and kombucha culture — that’s packed with antioxidants. Food-wise, relieve yourself from kitchen duties and order Kurimibites’ mentai rice (or lobster mentai, if you’re intending to splurge) as well as an old-fashioned chocolate cake from Snatch.Pastries. The latter also offers a teatime set, which includes chocolate chunk cookies, almond hazelnut financiers and lemon white chocolate truffles.