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Rediscovering Gujarat

Posted in WinterIndiaFilms

enriching everyday life

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 Gujarat
Rediscovering Gujarat

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

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

Rediscovering Gujarat
Rediscovering Gujarat
Rediscovering Gujarat

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