rediscovering gujarat

{rediscovering surat} via chevrons & éclairs

enriching everyday life

wearing LABEL RITU KUMAR location DUTCH CEMETRY, SURAT, INDIA
photo assistance MY TRIPOD

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Every few years or so my parents and I visit India. Sometimes it’s just me, other times just my parents, only one time it has been my brother and I and this time my daddy and I. Depending on who I’m traveling with, the schedule is quite different and considering I’m visiting with my father this time around everything is centered around food {and I don’t hate it}. But on every visit, I usually take that time off and just spend every moment I can with my grandparents, maximizing every second and minute I have.

When I visited home in May, my parents and I decided my father and I would visit my grandmother. I grew up with my grandmother and spoke about my time as a child with her in my aubergine chips recipe. Since I’m in the midst of expanding my business to new markets, I wanted to take advantage of this time to discover the potential my consultancy had out here as well. The more I dug the more I rediscovered India and everything seemed to connect back to the very villages my ancestors come from. Little did I know that my family was nestled in the very epicenter of the textile industry that is the beating heart of most of India’s material supply today. And it was that discovery that not only made me proud, but also intrigued. I viewed and scrutinized every place I visited since I was a child and saw the beauty that most of you may see, but I took for granted.
 

{rediscovering surat} via chevrons & éclairs
{rediscovering surat} via chevrons & éclairs
{rediscovering gujarat} via chevrons & éclairs
{rediscovering surat} via chevrons & éclairs {rediscovering gujarat} via chevrons & éclairs

my world though an unfamiliar eye

I decided to go to India this time to document: document the places I visit, document the people I know, document winter sunsets {which are beautiful, by the way}, and document the moments shared with my grandparents. When I look at my world through an unfamiliar eye I see a culture, heritage and tradition that is rich, vibrant and unparalleled to any other experience I have had in the past. What an honor it is to have all of you here interested to see and experience the India that I know and love.

Driving from one village to the next, I see details of everyday life that has never been appreciated before. Just last week I visited the village I am from, my father’s village of Palsana, and noticed that the row houses my family has lived in for generations was built under the British Raj. The detail on the roof, the floors and walls mimics Victorian architectural influence with a touch of Indian heritage. Many of the village’s inhabitants haven’t even visited the closest city just 30 kilometers away. Their world and understanding is that village alone.

Over the weekend I visited my mother’s village and was greeted by Vadlikaki, Auntie Vadli, who is the maid that completely runs my mother’s family’s grounds. I spent summers in Degam with Vadlikaki, who carried my brother on her back when he was a naughty toddler and braided my long hair after I took a rose petal-saffron-milk-warm water bath. To me, she was just another member of the family. To you, she is the one who really raised me, helped me create childhood memories in India and instilled so many of my culture’s values I hold today.

My love for fashion and design is boundless and since coming to India my daddy made it a priority to take me to textile markets, introduce me to people in the industry and visit showrooms of thriving Indian designers. Designers such as Sabyasaachi, Manish Malhotra, Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal and Ritu Kumar are more than names that dominate India’s catwalks. These are designers that are designing pieces that instill those very values I cherish and want to globalize their products to modernize and re-conceptualize people’s understanding of what Indian fashion is. Each of their pieces are meticulous and require hours of work from the hands of a single artisan. Thread work and zardozi designs are the essence of Indian design and unique to the country’s fashion houses. A stand out quality that cannot be compared to any other fashion house or market in the world.

So I bring you, Ritu Kumar’s Label-a Western-influenced brand that upholds heritage in material and design. I styled the gorgeous dress quintessentially British with a white collared shirt and simple jewels. This outfit, compared to any other shared on c&é, truly exudes everything I emulate.
 

{rediscovering gujarat} via chevrons & éclairs
{rediscovering gujarat} via chevrons & éclairs

 
 
{rediscovering gujarat} via chevrons & éclairs
 
 

what I wore

dress LABEL RITU KUMAR shirt MASSIMO DUTTI bracelet c/o MEJURI sunglasses c/o BODEN
flats LOEFFLER RANDALL earrings c/o J.LAUREN

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Be sure to watch the video below highlighting the India I know.
 

Rediscovering Gujarat

  • these photos are amazing!

    http://www.prettyinleather.net

  • Sarah

    You look so beautiful in that dress! What a gorgeous shoot and the video is amazing! xxx

  • Man. That dress is stunning. With every post about India you write it goes up a few spots on my bucket list.

  • Supal, what a fantastic post. How amazing that your parents took you around India, and you know it so well. All of the buildings are gorgeous!

  • Paige Allison

    Rose petal saffron milk bath?! A maid that runs my house?! F America, I’m moving to India!

    • HAHA yes. It’s the life! Literally coming back gets really tiresome because you realize you have to brush your own hair and make your own food 🙁 hahaha

  • Your dress is so pretty!

    Abigail Alice x

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    Does, I love that you call your dad, daddy. Second, a saffron milk bath? Girl that sounds rather luxurious for a child, haha! I love that you’re sharing all these little details of India with us. You’re showing us the true beauty, where some may just see dirt roads, you see history and family ties and the true heart of India.

    • Ha! I write these posts whilst in a trance, so I don’t realize I call him “daddy” on the internet. It’s a real pleasure to share this part of my life with you all! x

  • olga_lostindaydreams

    This post is amazing! Love the dress and the location! Great job!

    http://www.lostindaydreams.com/

  • Ralizabeth

    what a beautiful dress!!

    oh, she’s lovely

  • natalie

    I’d love to go to India one day
    gorgeous dress
    x
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

  • Lindsay Katherine

    I love that you decided to experience India with an unfamiliar eye so you could take things in from a fresh perspective – I’m excited to see where your travels meet business and also feel like I need a better understanding of what you do. We’ll chat sometime.

    • Ah yes. I help luxury brands enter new markets. I started off helping luxury fashion brands enter emerging markets, but now working with emerging designers from developing countries enter Western markets. If that makes any sense. To make it more complicated, we don’t do social media or branding, but help with business development and risk and deal with sustainability/risk within the supply chain. 🙂

  • I love the video that you made Supal. It captures small glimpses of India and I’m starting to pay special attention to the garments that the women are wearing. There’s so much material and details on them. You’re an incredibly smart business woman for expanding your into India there’s definitely a lot of major business opportunities there and many more will come as the economy continues to grow and expand. I also love that you feature an Indian designer on this post. This dress is very pretty.

    • I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of going earlier considering it’s a region I know and culture not very foreign to me, but we’re there now! It was so fun to get a view of how fashion is evolving in the region. It plays a HUGE role and it has been fun getting to know more about the textile industry in the perspective of a consultant and a blogger 🙂 x

  • Alyssa Brittain

    That video is amazing and your photos are gorgeous! I’m so glad I decided to check out your blog today. ???? Hope you are still enjoying the Lake District!

    • So happy and pleased to hear that, Alyssa! I hope you had a lovely holiday! Loved your photos from Instagram 🙂 Hope this year is full of more adventures and hopefully we can meet up at some point! #InstaBuddies