Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sari Sensation

Many years ago I fell in love with silk fabrics that were primarily marketed to the fashion apparel industry. Many of these fabrics were hand embroidered and often appliqu├ęd with everything from glass beads and tiny mirrors, to semi-precious stones. I felt there was a place for these unusual hand-woven silks for window coverings and bedding as long as we could educate the designer about dye lot variations and weaving characteristics. Designers and their clients loved our venture into fashion silks as they were very different from the usual dupioni, taffetas, and checks often seen in the marketplace.

This is one of my favorites from past seasons, Wes Bon Vivant. It is a double-woven silk jacquard.
It may sound a bit unusual but our silk suppliers never wanted us to visit them in India where most of them are located. They would either come to us in Denver, or we would see them at fabric shows in Brussels or Frankfurt. I will give you a “sneak peak” of a few of our newest silks premiering in July.

Wes Exception to the Rule, color Kiwi.

Wes Gemstone, color Tan. It has real Tiger Eye beads!

Wes Grandeur, color Gold Bronze.

Wes Reunited, color Teal.

We’re going to India! My wife and I decided it was finally time to see India. We booked our trip and then the “Mumbai” attacks happened! I was a little nervous and asked Marla if we should postpone the trip. She said she was going and would “send me a postcard!” She has always been “Carpe Diem” to the max! Of course we were still going! In March we visited New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Though I have traveled extensively in the developing world, I was unprepared for India’s sensory overload and this was after watching “Slumdog Millionaire” three times! There is a vibrancy and a frenetic buzzing pace to life. Your eye is assaulted by a kaleidoscope of wonderful colors from woman’s saris, spices in the markets, advertising, and huge billboards for Bollywood movies. With over a billion people, India is the most mesmerizingly diverse country I’ve ever seen! On the street in Delhi you may see a Bentley drive by a family gathering dung to use for a fire to cook a meal. The poverty is often difficult to handle. India is definitely intoxicating, intriguing, repulsive, and stunning at the same time. Celebrating the Holi. We were lucky to be invited by one of our silk suppliers in Delhi to celebrate the "Holi" at their friend’s home. “Holi” is one of the happiest Hindu festivals where everyone "throws" bright colors on people and revels in the fun.

A mud bath to celebrate the Holi. We buy silk fabrics from this man! He guarantees no mud on his fabrics.

An elephant in Jaipur decorated to celebrate the Holi festival.

The colors of the Sari.

A new bride, radiant in her finery.

-“I adore that pink…it’s the navy blue of India.” Diana Vreeland.

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