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No matter how many hipsters, K-poppers, and punks we see out there in Malaysia, there is a strong sense of pride that we Malaysians have always maintained with our own heritage. And one of the ways that we express that pride is through fashion.

Through years, we have witnessed a remarkable growth in local designer wear, and it is this cherished love that Malaysians have for rich cultural dressing that has encouraged the brands to grow. With that being said, it’s easy to see why there has always been an obsession amongst Malaysians with the famed ‘batik’.

This age-old art is one that still remains relevant today in the Malay culture. Its appeal is undeniable, and is a popular outfit of choice for both men and women during formal occasions, and even special occasions such as wedding and festivals.

In today’s world, where style travels faster than jet planes, Rubaq has established itself as the destination for wearable art, featuring the perfect blend of sophistication, stylish fashion and class. A name that literally translates to ‘the house of batik’, Rubaq brings fashion that is trendy and versatile. And it’s hardly a surprise to find that the designers behind the entire shebang is a mother and daughter team – Assoc Prof Zaharah Ahmad Osman and her daughter Shazmin Kushairi.

Rubaq brings the goodness of centuries’ worth of craftsmanship by reviving paint-on batik techniques that are all done exclusively by Zaharah herself. With her eye for fashion, artistic talents and immaculate attention to detail, she produces stellar examples of the same superlative attributes of the craft at its best.

Established a year ago, the hand painted batik products at Rubaq are done with the urban woman and her lifestyle in mind. While browsing the store at Publika, my eyes were spoilt for choice; with every piece exuding a strong sense of elegance and original style, the collection just begged to be noticed.

Attractive garments are the only eye candy in the store, for there is also a fine selection of bespoke accoutrements to check out. One which caught our attention was a distinctive looking neckpiece created by intertwining loops and hoops, a piece that really got me wondering where the designers get their inspiration from.

At a boutique like Rubaq, you are exposed to a large selection of ethnic wear that symbolizes the ethnicity in its purest form. Housing a lovely collection of ready-to-wear outfits, materials, the semi stitched and stitched readymade garments with the most exuberant batik prints can be altered into traditional cuts or designer-esque forms. To keep things trendy, the store also features quirky handmade neckpieces that were hand-made in Barcelona.

Showcasing a delightful juxtaposition of ethnic heritage against contemporary designs at her new store, Rubaq’s boutique is a simple space that is big on the style quotient, reflecting the brand’s refined taste, creativity and understated elegance.


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