I have been pondering over this post for over two weeks and realized what better day than August 15th (India’s Independence Day) to make an ode India’s Handloom Industry. After all Khadi (a natural, hand spun fabric) symbolized the civil movement started by Mahatma Gandhi, to promote the idea that Indians should rely on hand spun fabrics and boycott the high priced goods being imported and sold by the British Empire. It was one of the many civil movements that ultimately led to India’s freedom from the British Raj.
Both Sneaky and I love Indian textile. From rich lustrous silks to the breathable cotton, anything hand spun leaves us feeling dizzy with love. The British left & while the people carved a path for a developed India, she lost some of her heritage in her years of aping the west, only to once again embrace her tradition. The revival of the handloom industry in India has been underway and a day dedicated to the industry thanks to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is just the kind of national publicity it needed. Several Indian designers have been embracing natural and sustainable fabrics in their collections & we have shown them some love on the blog in the past.
So today’s post is all about natural fabrics & I for one am always on the lookout for an unconventional take on classics. Naturally when I came across a jacket made out of Madras checks, I just needed to have it. ‘Madrasi Checks’ is the colloquial name for a light weight cotton fabric typically in a plaid pattern. Traditionally used to make ‘lungis’, a loincloth or skirt worn in the hot & humid parts of South India, is now often used to design contemporary clothing.
Incidentally, I found this jacket in my favorite place in Chennai, Amethyst – a beautiful bungalow now converted into a coffee shop & lifestyle store. Designed by Neeru Kumar, a designer who almost pioneered the revival of the handloom industry in India 2 decades ago, this jacket is versatile & cool enough for summer in the East Coast of America.
Honestly, summer is the only time I can wear a piece of India & I was excited to style this jacket for an Instameet. I wore it as a shirt, wearing a belt to keep things secure :D. It was a good idea, it kept me cool while I walked up rooftops and climbed down rusted ladders of an abandoned factory in North Philadelphia.
It was my first ever Instameet & I am glad to have met a group of very talented photographers & explore a part of the city I had never been to before. Of course I don’t think going to abandoned factories is the best way to stay out of trouble, but what’s life without some adventure?
Here are a few pictures from the meeting, all shot by different photographers who’s work I’m in love with & definitely look forward to collaborating with!
Shot by @GinaSouth.
The following pictures are shot byMatt Iwasko, who was very kind to let me drive with him in his car to the Instameet. his work is exceptional & he is always looking to learn more. I am already thinking of the next collaboration with him! To top it all, his rants (while very real to him) are very funny to me.
Shot by @m_sko5
This shot is my absolute favorite from that afternoon. Check out his work on Instagram here
The next few are by Will, another young star in the making. I need to use the word kind to describe him, because that how he speaks to me, kindly. But he gets some real mean shots.
Shot by @thepositivevisual. Isn’t this shot DOPE?
In the mad chair 😀 Don’t ask me how I got here!!! Follow Will’s awesomeness on Instagram here
The next two are by Brandon Wyche, who I had the pleasure of meeting thanks to a fellow Philly blogger. He had such a great eye for accessories & I loved the fact that he wanted to shoot them! Do take a look at Brandon’s website: http://wychestudios.com/ & don’t forget to follow his Insta handle!
Shot by @wyche_studios
As you can see, by the end of the day I couldn’t contain my happiness! I hope you enjoyed this post, and Happy Independence Day ya’ll!
Madras Print Shirt/Jacket: Tulsi by Neeru Kumar
Belt: Vero Moda India
Tan Wedges: Kenneth Cole
Messenger Bag: DKNY