March 23, 2017

Hello hello!

It’s Henna here. This is my first proper post here on the blog side, so I’d like to say a big hello and welcome! :) Since all our clothes are slow fashion, I want to share some background on how these kaftans and dresses are actually made.

Black and white with shimmer and sparkle!

 It's ok to live in black and white as long as you throw some shimmer and sparkle in the mix! 

 

A whole lot of artisan love goes into them and it would be a shame not to show the process. Instead of going through a crazy around-the-world supply chain, they receive pretty special treatment in the hands of a few wonderful artisans in India. I collaborate with a Bangalore-based kick-ass ladyboss who runs a small, ethical factory and sources local craftsmen according to the job in hand. All these men and women are highly specialised and mostly do one type of art form.

 

First sample in the making.. The fabric is stretched on a large wooden frame and the artisan stitches the beads while sitting on the floor

 

Today I’ll shine some light on our embellished linen dress, Bella. After sketching, pattern cutting and fabric picking, it was time to add some glam to the sample. (Mom, cover your eyes now, but) we swooshed around the busy streets on a motorbike to get the job done. Tucked away from the main roads, a quaint little artisan quarter opens up and the sounds of India quiet down. Unexpected stillness. Tranquility. Goats, cows, dogs, birds, rustle of swaying palm trees, little thumps and whacks coming from the cottages.


Yours truly! Hanging out at the artisan cottage, all smiles and happy vibes in Bangalore :)

 

 Always making new friends! I took him home. Nooo I didn't!

 

We step inside, sit down on the spotless floor, sip some deliciously sweet chai and sprinkle some glitter and sparkle in the air. While there may be a language barrier, we quickly agree on the design of the embellishment and arrange the sequins into a.. well, sequence :) Then the master artisan gets to work..

 

Adding the glass and metal beads one by one in the pencil marked spots

 

High on chai sugar and shiny things! After the first visit, it took a few days to see the final sample, and for me, slow progress is good news. It makes me think of a quote I once saw on a small gallery wall: “Don’t bargain on art. It’s embarrassing.” In the same way, I wouldn’t rush an artisan. It’s disruptive.

And finally.. here’s the product:

 Bella linen dress in black  

 

 Same in white linen 

 

Well, my lovelies, that’s all for now. I’ll be back to share more pics and stories soon!
Lots of love from India, Henna x