Get an insight on the beauty of songket as well as how to wear it with tips from couturier to the stars, Jovian Mandagie.
The recent years see an invasion of songket into modern day design, incorporated in wedding attires and Raya collections by many prominent local designers. One of the designers that are re-introducing the beauty of songket in his designs is couturier to the stars, Jovian Mandagie. He collaborates with a true Malayan princess, Tunku Tun Aminah of Johor royal descent for his exclusive collection called Tunku Tun Aminah x Jovian.
In collaboration with royalty, it was natural to incorporate the songket material in their many designs. “The reason why I incorporated songket into the collection was because it is a royal collection and songket is one of the elements that represent a touch of royalty. A complete royal outfit will never miss out songket and in fact, in a lot of coronation events, songket has been the main fabric used for the Sultan. Plus I personally think that a royal collection without a songket’s touch in it is not complete,” explains Jovian.
The Aminah ensemble with ruby embellishments against a soft gray songket is a standout ensemble in the collection alongside the bright fuchsia Safiya piece that mixes songket with a modern Kedah-style baju kurung.
If you are planning to get married or want to indulge yourself with a one-of-a-kind songket ensemble, Jovian advises,” You can go for a full songket attire with simple embellishments or you mix and match it up with a plain fabric as a top and pair it with a songket skirt. I think these are the best ways to style the songket and if you have a songket selendang, do not hesitate to complement your look with it.”
So you see, songket is a textile seeped with tradition and an artistry that few have mastered. The price range for a songket starts at a couple of hundred ringgit and go up to the thousands making it a piece of material that is more of an investment and proud textile symbolising beauty and craftsmanship. Therefore, if you want to bring back a taste of Malaysia, songket is the souvenir with the wow factor the folks at home would be eager to see.
- So where does one purchase such a luxurious item? Well if you have the time and money, we suggest going to Terengganu or Kelantan which is the motherland of songket in Malaysia.
- Pasar Payang in Kuala Terengganu is a textile haven and a great place to start
- For Kelantan, try the Haji Idris Omar Songket and Batik which is a family-run textile business that has been going strong for four generations. facebook.com/HajiIdrisOmar
- In Kuala Lumpur, you can get your songket fix and other crafty knick knacks at the Craft Complex located at Jalan Conlay.
- For more variety of songkets, head on over to Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR for short) for rows of textile stalls. A popular one among locals in TEH Songket. com.my