BATIK IN ART NOUVEAU AND ART DECO FASHION – TAASA Review March 2018

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This article was originally found in the March 2018 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 27, Issue 1, Page 18).

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Maria Wronska-Friend W estern fashion created during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements (approximately 1890-1930) favoured a range of Oriental fantasies, of which the most remarkable ones were the adaptation and reproduction of Japanese kimono as well as the introduction of the Javanese batik technique into textile arts and couture clothing.

With the opening of Japan to the outside world in the late 1850s and the introduction of Japanese aesthetics into Western arts, it was not uncommon to see European women in kimono-inspired garments, worn as dressing gowns, evening dresses or opera coats. While for artists in Paris and London Japan was the main source of aesthetic fascination, in Holland the technique of batik and its associated styles, introduced from Indonesia, became the embodiment of Oriental fantasy.

Around 1892 in Amsterdam, a group of young artists turned their attention to the arts of the largest colony of the Netherlands, at that time called The Dutch East Indies and nowadays known as Indonesia. A collection of Javanese batik textiles at the ethnographical museum in Amsterdam, generated interest in the unusual technique applied to the decoration of these fabrics...