A traditional technique paired with sophisticated designs to create modern works of art.
While in Bali, I was fortunate enough to connect with a lovely Italian couple who also happen to make the most beautiful silk dresses. Using the traditional batik technique in a modern and chic way, they’ve managed to rework this Indonesian style for a Western audience.
Founded in 2004, Simonetta and Marco decided to make Bali, specifically artsy Ubud, the base for their artisanal creations. After visiting a few times, they chose the island because the freedom to express ourselves and the artistic skill of the Balinese people were great motivators for us.
With a background in textile design, Simonetta uses the lush island as inspiration for all her creations. Looking at the collection, you can see influences of nature–from leaves to flower petals, ocean waves to flowy waterfalls, not to mention the rich hues seen in the Balinese landscapes, sunsets and ocean views. It’s all done in a sophisticated manner, not surprisingly from this European tastemaker.The basis for all their pieces is a process called batik, which was used as early as the 4th century BC in Egypt. During the nineteenth century, the technique was introduced around Java, Indonesia and later spread to nearby Bali, where it’s still prominently practiced today. Walking around the art markets in Ubud, you can see this technique used on shirts, scarves and bags, but they lack the chic style Quarzia has managed to create through simple designs and luxurious fabrics like silk and chiffon.
Using a “resist” process to make designs on fabric, select areas are blocked out by painting hot wax over them. The entire fabric is then dyed, and the parts without wax absorb the color. After that, the wax is removed through boiling the fabric in water, creating individual patterns or colorful designs, and left out to dry. For more elaborate designs, the process is repeated a few times.As a designer and artist myself, I appreciate the process and attention to detail that Simonetta and her team of artists bring to each piece. In a culture that lives on mass production and consumption, it was refreshing to find a business that has managed to keep the art alive. When I wore my yellow flowy dress, I felt like I was wearing a piece of art made for a gallery! The fact that each piece is unique and looks like no other is something to be celebrated.
Speaking with Simonetta was a delight. She’s a true artist at heart and is passionate about her craft. Both her and Marco come from textile towns in Italy; it’s no surprise their combined skills and talents have created such a thoughtful company. Having made Bali their home, they’re also active in the community, frequently contributing to events like TEDxUbud, which the eye masks below were used as gifts.Quarzia’s silk dresses are their signature, but they also carry pants, tops, kimonos, sarongs and a mens line with shirts, pants, shorts and underwear! They also do custom interior decor for properties in the area. How lovely would it be to have them design my entire Balinese villa one day while I pranced around in my pretty silk dresses? Girl can dream right?
Thanks to Simonetta and Marco for welcoming me into your studio and sharing your beauty and art.To get your own piece of wearable art, visit Quarzia online or in person at one of their boutiques:
Jl. Oberoi 3A