As a Balinese, heritage and culture have been an important part for Balinese society. Culture affects almost every aspect of life on the island and it leads to a vast variety of art. This is something that Balinese people want to keep and treasure. Traditional culture itself influences the Balinese fashion scene.
What makes Bali inspiring for a person who is searching for creative muses is the unique blend of traditional culture and modernity. Bali's constant flow of tourists from around the world meets with the local Balinese ethnicity creates a sole mixture of something that is not easy to forget. We can see it in the fabric and in the design. How people combine traditional Balinese fabric into contemporarily cut clothes or making fashion design inspired by Balinese craft. For example, traditional fabrics that we call Endek or Songket, can now be found in the prints of many fashion pieces. For the fashion trend itself now in the island, we can see so many summer styles all around the island.
Bali is well-known for its tropical weather where the sun is shining bright and the crystal-clear blue beaches. It is not a surprise that Bali is filled with those 'tropical babe' or 'island darling' style from the people itself or from the tourist who visit Bali for holidays. Wearing light-weight clothes would save you from the heat here so I would recommend people to wear cotton, linen, silk or any kind of resort wear: slip dress, jumpsuits, kaftans, crochet cover-ups, sexy evening dresses, you choose!
My personal preference, I would love to wear a maxi overflowing dress or a cute mini dress with brown sandals, rattan bag and summer hats. I could wear it forever here in the island! But I would like to try new style and up to boundless creative mix-matching outfits. I would love to add some Parisian look to my casual daily wear, being effortlessly chic with a sexy silky evening gown, adding more bright and bold colors to my wardrobe just like what we see in Korean idol groups, dressing with some Mexican festival vibe for some summer parties here, or clashing all things together just as I want it to be based up on my mood that day.
Fashion has no boundaries and as the acculturation of local and international style is becoming more intense, this makes the fashion scene more interesting in Bali. People around the world see what is unique in Bali and people here in Bali also see what is unique from all travelers around the world. Trends become more diverse, rich with many art, society, background and ethnicity. The best part of it, fashion is a media for expression, to express ourselves, and here on the island the choices of fashion are endless.
For the industry, Bali offers a wide fashion market. There are many fashion brands rising up with their own trademark and fashion statements. It is going to be quite competitive for the fashion industry in the future but it will boost the creativity. I can see also Balinese and Indonesian people viewing Bali as a fashion destination, and they start joining this fashion parade adding spice to Bali’s fashion scene. I see many young entrepreneurs in Bali starting their own fashion line and ready to compete in Bali’s fashion market. I see young people also become more interested in fashion as we can see in social media they post about their ‘outfit of the day’ and express themselves through their style.
I do hope fashion in Bali would be something taken into account like 'Harajuku' style in Japan or 'Hallyu' wave in Korean, with its own Balinese touch. Being unique and trendy without forgetting the roots of Balinese culture. Maybe one day we can see Bali’s style as something like that in the future. And I also hope local people will be bold and brave to express themselves through fashion in a good and creative way.
By Dias Predani
Blog: Dearly Dias