The much-anticipated Piala Seri Endon Batik Design Competition returns after a two-year hiatus!
Walking the runway in modern batik
The grand finals of the Piala Seri Endon (PSE) Batik Design Competition 2022, organised by Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia (PENYAYANG), was held on September 4 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in front of a large crowd of batik enthusiasts and supporters.
This annual PSE Competition, named after the late Tun Endon Mahmood, the founder of PENYAYANG, was created to discover and develop Malaysia’s batik-making talent by providing a platform for support, recognition, and encouragement.
When it first launched in 2003, there was only one category — fashion. The soft furnishing category was introduced in 2004, while the handicraft category was added in 2005.
This 17th edition of the prestigious competition, organised under the Malaysia Batik Crafted for the World Movement, saw 45 entries for its three categories, namely fashion, soft furnishing, and handicraft.
There were 21 entries for the fashion category, 10 for soft furnishing, and 14 for handicraft.
Fashion has been the most popular among participants, hence it received the most entries.
Monetary prizes for first, second and third places were RM30,000, RM10,000 and RM5,000 respectively. There were also five RM1,000 consolation prizes.
Each winner received an intricately crafted trophy depicting a hand-block used in the making of batik.
All the trophies have been donated since 2003 by Royal Selangor, a Malaysian pewter brand with retail outlets worldwide.
BONIA Corporation Berhad is this year’s presenter of PSE 2022, working alongside PENYAYANG to ensure the sustainability of Malaysia Batik as a national heritage.
“Today, we are showcasing our own interpretation of Malaysia batik in contemporary fashion. We are privileged to have our own globally-renowned Malaysian designer Datuk Seri Bernard Chandran, to design and curate a showcase of batik apparel for viewing pleasure,” said Datuk Seri Daniel Chiang, BONIA Group Executive Director, adding that these designs will make their way as permanent additions to their product line.
The PSE fashion show grand finals
NIVEA, PENYAYANG’s Skin Care Partner, handed out door gifts to guests arriving at the KLCC Grand Ballroom.
The goody bags was packed with beauty products ranging from skin and body care to lip enhancers.
You’ll notice that I have shinier lips the next time you see me, thanks to NIVEA pearly shine or the vegan one with Acai Seed oil.
Because we arrived an hour earlier, we had time to see the exhibition before the runway show.
I must say that I had the best companion, and she is none other than Swiss-born Heidi Munan.
Calling Sarawak her home, she is an author of Sarawak folklore stories, and is perhaps more native than many.
Munan took in serious details of the exhibits and, with a good sense of humour about fashion, she made the long afternoon enjoyable.
Sape music was playing in the background as we waited for showtime in our front row seats next to the runway.
We did question why no one from Sarawak participated in the competition. Never mind, our music was featured!
The show finally began after its most honourable guest, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, arrived.
The final 12 fashion finalists were required to present two outfits (casual and formal) for both genders.
The marks for this final round of judging only carried 15 points because the majority of the points were awarded in rounds that involved participants being interviewed by judges and having their products evaluated for things like commercial viability.
A total of 17 judges were involved in the competition, from Round 1 judging through the grand final judging that afternoon at KLCC.
The grand final judges were Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa (chief judge and batik artist), Datuk Tom Abang Saufi (renowned fashion designer), Edric Ong (multi-award designer of natural dye textiles, fashion and crafts), Prof Dr Mandana Barkeshli (conservation scientist), and Andrew Tan (founder of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week).
It was a fascinating showcase of batik fashion, ranging from traditional patterns to more contemporary designs and styles.
A few collections piqued my interest, and as previously stated, the runway round points are combined with the other prejudging points to determine the winners.
Mohd Nazil Arsan won first place in the fashion category with his theme ‘Nostalgia Terindah.’
His collection came across as cheerful tropical in cotton batik, with beautiful colours of the blue sky, clean white, sunny yellow, and orange.
Syahrul Amirul Samsuri bagged second prize, with his collection themed ‘Seri Pusaka’ indicating that Batik is an heirloom art. The patterns and colours are loud and eye-catching.
Mazlan & Yazie, whose modern batik fashion carries the theme ‘Movimento,’ won third place.
The afternoon show’s highlight was ‘Fan the Flame,’ an innovative and whimsical collection put together by Chandran.
He really pushes the boundaries of batik to create a new way of wearing it. Younger generations love it!
The event ended with a sumptuous tea for all guests, and many lingered to catch up with friends or to network.
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