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Edric Ong ‘Ikatweed’ Collection A/W 2022

Edric Ong the designer (back) with his models.

The latest collection of Edric Ong features the marriage of two distant cultures: the handwoven ‘pua kombu cotton and silk ikat textiles of the Iban of Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, and the ‘tweed’ hand-loom woolen textiles of Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland!

This unique fashion of Edric Ong brings together heritage textiles of two cultural textiles that have been recognized by the World Crafts Council and UNESCO! He is very much at the forefront of promoting the unique Iban ‘Pua Kumbu’ ikat textiles in many of his past collections.

“We in the tropical climate of Malaysia hardly ever wear wool except when traveling to temperate countries, or a woolen jumper when we are in the Highlands of say Bario of Bakelalan in Sarawak, “said Edric Ong.

He has been intrigued by the Tweed textile ever since he noticed some of his British relatives and friends wear Tweed jackets when the weather is chilly in autumn/winter and early spring.

“They told me that Tweed is distinctly British in identity, and so I wanted to match this with our distinctly Iban textile of Pua Kumbu!”

The Collection includes silk hand-woven Iban ‘pua kombu ikat vests worn with classic tweed jackets; tweed/pua kumbu combination of scarfs; asymmetrical hand-woven silk skirts with pua kumbu panels; trouser-suit for women and long tweed winter overcoats worn with long ikat oriental cut shirts.

Edric Ong is very much at the forefront of promoting the unique Iban ‘Pua Kumbu’ ikat textiles in fashion.

These textiles are hand woven on a back strap loom by skilled Iban women in the remote longhouse of Rumah Garie, along the Sungai Kain River of remote Kapit District in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. They have been awarded the UNESCO and World Crafts Council Award of Excellence, and are now much sought after by fashionable people internationally. The textiles were also given the prestigious Japanese “G” mark awards by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO).

Edric Ong was awarded the “Global Fashion Influencer 2016 at the Asian Fashion Awards and the “Malaysian Designer of the Year 2009” by Mercedes-Benz/Stylo.

In looking for a location for his IkaTweed Collection to shoot his latest collection, Edric decided on the heritage old Siniawan Bazaar, which was an old gold-mining town. It provided an ambiance of old-world charm and of the pioneering era of the colonial past!

He is equally renowned for his fashion accessories e.g. the rattan ‘topi’ tuning pointed hats, and his specially designed necklaces for each collection. He works with local Malaysian craft masters to create interesting hand-plaited pandanus pendants, twisted roots, and glass beads; and rattan-pointed bags with tapestry-weave slings.

Edric Ong is based in Kuching Sarawak and has showcased his collections in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Korea, India, Bangladesh, USA, UK, and Europe.

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