The effort of preserving a tradition, heritage, or art — or in the case of batik, all three — is a collective effort. One strategy to get more minds involved and make the effort a breeze is to make the item so relevant that it’s hard to ignore. The prestigious Iwan Tirta Private Collection underlines the truth in this with their decisions to preserve the maestro’s work by innovating their designs and appealing to modern-minded batik lovers.
With the turn of the season, Iwan Tirta Private Collection introduced their Spring/Summer collection, which shares the overarching “Nuswantara” theme with other season collections this year. Showcasing batik motifs from various provinces in the country, the pieces in Nuswantara bear European and Japanese influences. Along with the ready-to-wear items, the batik house highlights their contemporary identity with a collaborative series of handbags with Bagteria.
Each of the four handbags portray a different batik motif. Bagteria artisans perfected each of the four bag styles — Modang, Bendi Jlamprang, Semen Parimudo, and Peksi Mawar — from stitching sequins on velvet, embroidering designs on Shantung silk and velvet, to applying Swarovski crystals, semi precious stones and sterling silver finishing.
“We decorated the purses with embroidery, and used the smallest Japanese beads and sequins. And since the batik motifs are so intricate and refined, the whole process took almost a month for a purse,” says Nancy Go, founder of Bagteria.
The Jlamprang clutch is a subtly glam piece with a black body that’s peppered with glimmering silver accents. Its elongated silhouette also allows for an elegant look, but what really steals the show is the statement brooch, deliberately placed on the side to make space for an easy grip.
The next piece in the collection is Semen Parimudo, a sultry dark purple clutch with an elaborate floral design on its centre and a lilac semi precious stone on its clasp. The classic padded clasp allows for more storage but is just the right size for the palm.
The Peksi Mawar borrows its name from the Indonesian word for rose (mawar) and “Peksi”, a bird that symbolises freedom, eternal love and loyalty. In the Chinese culture, birds are also regarded as a symbol of happiness and a harbinger of spring. Unlike the mentioned clutches, the Peksi Mawar bag comes with a handle to be held or to let rest on the forearm when you’re juggling champagne and canapés. Beads dangle at the bottom of the bag, creating a dramatic swaying effect when carried either way.
Also with beads, and reminiscent of Bagteria’s famous 1920-inspired Foxglove bag, is the final piece in the Iwan Tirta and Bagteria collaborative collection, Modang. Larger than all its counterparts, Modang offers a lot more space for decorative elements but the bag remains simple with a side of sequin bling. It saves all the drama for the strap, designed to look like a necklace. The bedazzled flap fastening keeps your belongings save inside as you enjoy the night away.
The Iwan Tirta Private Collection x Bagteria handbags are available at Iwan Tirta Private Collection’s flagship store in Grand Hyatt, Plaza Indonesia.