The Jakarta Post
Designer Billy Tjong presented a collection based on tenun doyo hand-woven fabric and sulam tumpar (tumpar embroidery) at the Serenade of Tenun Doyo fashion show on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Central Jakarta.
Originating from the East Kalimantan regency of West Kutai, tenun doyo is made of doyo plant fibers with patterns inherited from one generation to another, while sulam tumpar is an embroidery technique that mainly uses pop colors with patterns inspired by flora and fauna.
The fashion show consisted of three parts; Madeind x Billy Tjong ready to wear collection, a deluxe collection and a wedding collection with a total of 26 looks. For the ready to wear collection, Billy has collaborated with online shopping platform Madeind for a fall/winter 2018 collection that combines tenun doyo with modern designs and asymmetrical patterns. It is available online with prices starting from Rp 800,000 ($52).
Billy incorporated other materials into the collection as well, including silk, denim and silk organza. “Hand-woven fabric can be stiff, so I tried to find a way to apply it to clothes,” Billy told The Jakarta Post after the show on Wednesday.
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Hand-woven fabrics usually have their own standard size, but Billy said several tenun doyo were made larger than their normal size for the show. He was also involved in the coloring process together with Lia Candrasari, one of the event’s initiators. “We decided to display the original version of tenun doyo and sulam tumpar this time,” said Billy.
The show was part of The Beauty of West Kutai event that includes a book launch for Tenun Doyo dan Sulam Tumpar – Seni Wastra Kutai Barat (doyo hand-woven fabric and tumpar embroidery – art of West Kutai traditional fabric) by Syahmedi Dean, the Potret Indah Dayak Benuaq (beautiful portrait of Dayak Benuaq) photography exhibition by Honda Tranggono and a screening of The Beauty of West Kutai, a fashion film directed by Reza Bustami. Moreover, the event was the fruit of a collaboration between the West Kutai Handicraft Council (Dekranasda) and entrepreneur Lia Candrasari.
Known as an art and Indonesian culture enthusiast, Lia explained the reason why she wanted to highlight tenun doyo. “I saw its potential,” Lia said during a press conference on the same day. “I saw a traditional fabric that hasn’t yet been brought to the public before and it’s not as popular as batik or songket [a sumptuous cloth interwoven with golden and sometimes silver thread].”
Yayuk Seri Rahayu, head of the West Kutai Handicraft Council and wife of West Kuta Regent FX Yapan, said tenun doyo was worn by people from the Dayak Benuaq tribe. “They usually wear it for traditional events, but as time goes by we want tenun doyo to be worn by anyone at any events,” said Yayuk, adding that they have about 600 tenun doyo makers under the council with Tanjung Isuy village as its center.
For now, Yayuk is focusing on marketing both traditional fabrics in Indonesia, but she has already seen the change in the economic side. “The makers are now more active,” she said. “We also recommend students in West Kutai learn to weave tenun doyo and make sulam tumpar.” (mut)
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