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Bali’s kain endek gains spotlight on Dior’s runway during Paris Fashion Week

Published on October 5, 2020

The opening look of Dior’s Spring/Summer 2021 show during Paris Fashion Week featured warp-print fabrics native to Bali known as kain endek, a piece that the French fashion house says is the result of a collaboration with local artisans.

“And so this standout unstructured and completely reversible coat is composed of a patchwork of recomposed archival scarf print motifs and warp-print fabrics, particularly the Indonesian ikat version known as Endek, an expression of ancestral savoir-faire,” Dior wrote on the caption, using the French term for “the ability to do and say the right thing in any situation.”

“Dior is committed to working hand-in-hand with local experts and artisans to safeguard this cultural asset and ensure that its precious techniques live on.”

The stunning opening look isn’t the only Bali-inspired piece either, as several other pieces featured on Dior’s spring runway also made use of kain endek in variants of green and brown shades.

Kain endek is popular among many Balinese and believed to have originated from Klungkung regency. Though the woven fabric has been around for centuries, endek reportedly only became more commercialized around the ‘80s.

The Indonesian Embassy in Paris, which has been working with Dior to make sure that the use of kain endek in the brand’s pieces is culturally and traditionally appropriate to Balinese customs, said that the fabrics’ origins will also be included in the products’ labels accordingly.

“We hope that this can lift up the spirits of Balinese people amid the challenges of COVID-19 [pandemic],” the Indonesian ambassador to France, Arrmanatha Nasir, said in a statement.

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