The cafe was selling copies of Azah Aziz's beautiful coffee table book, Rupa & Gaya, along with the kopi.
The title translates as Form and Fashion and the book looks at traditional Malay fashions both past and present. It's lushly illustrated, with plenty to have the modern fashionista running to copy some of the tailoring. But I love all the old black and white photos most of all (below right).
The book is even more pleasing to the eye with the gold edging to the pages.
You can't talk about the history of fashion in a vacuum, and the book gives an overview of traditional Malay arts and culture (textiles, woodcarving, jewellery making, music, dance) along the way.
The text is in Malay but even for this linguistically challenged mat salleh, quite accessible and very informative. And there's very nice poetry scattered in, which delights me no end. Here's a lovely pantun that accompanies the picture of a musician:
Tiup seruling lagunya lama,The book is published by Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, but I wonder if they have really been promoting it, as I haven't come across it in bookshops and I can't find a single reference to it online, which is very sad.
Bagailah bunyi buluh perindu;
Jikalau rindu aku adinda,
Kirimlah salam di angin lalu.
This is too beautiful a treasure to be marketed with the mee!