For fall-winter 2017, I decided to open my travel journals and re-visit all those places that I had travelled to and recorded/documented all my memories and everything that inspired me. Somehow I had forgotten the amount of joy that was enclosed in those journals. There was enough inspiration for this season and many more.
I always find it difficult to sum-up a season’s write up in 100-200 words for the press note, and I am always out of words when people ask me, what inspired me for a particular season. Therefore I decided to invite you all into my world of imagination through my travel journal, and introduce you to a thought process that is neither season nor time bound. It’s an ongoing process.
“Travelling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.” – Ibn Battuta
This season we have incorporated a mix of elements from China and Latin America (Peru, Mexico and Guatemala). Why such diverse places? Purely out of instinct and also because as an artist I am lucky that I have the liberty to not always be driven by logic. The more I break rules the more liberating this is. Apart from that I also felt that there were many overlaps in the clothing traditions of these places; in terms of neon accents that people in these places use to add colour to their indigo clothing. In China, the accents are added through colourful geometric embroideries, tassels and pom-poms, whereas in Latin America, it is done through bold floral embroideries. To my surprise, similar floral embroideries were also seen on the skirts of a few Chinese minorities.
Drawing inspiration from Miao people of China, gave us a chance to elaborate on our love for details, through colourful tassels, pom-poms and beaded hangings, which caught my eye, time and again during my travel. Although the inspiration might be from the minority tribes of China and indigenous people of Latin America, the fabrics and trims developed are very much of Indian origin, like all our previous seasons. The colourful stripes seen on Peruvian ponchos, have been woven in wool in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh and indigo checks and stripes are hand-woven in West Bengal.
All the beaded trims, tassels and pom-poms have been hand made locally with the women of péro, who have over the seasons learnt how to interpret an inspiration and simulate it into a trim that sits beautifully within the péro sensibility.
Bold floral embroideries have been done by our skilled craftsmen who have learnt the art of observing and translating ideas onto clothing as a work of art, by using a mix of techniques that they have mastered over the years. Each embroidered piece has travelled through the hands of a machine embroiderer to a hand embroiderer and finally into the hands of a hand worker who has added final touches like beads, pompoms, tassels, keeping the age old tradition of hand-made alive through péro clothing.
These garments inspired from cultures worldwide, hand-made in India are made available globally to the wearer who appreciates hand–crafted clothing not only for the love that goes into making them, but also for the stories they narrate.