Archive for May, 2011
May 18, 2011
Hi everyone, it’s Richa from Mala Handmade! I’ve finally stepped out of hibernation here in New York City where for the last week it’s been sunny and seventy degrees. The city has an energy that’s always noticeable this time of year: rather than rushing from one destination to the other to escape the bitter cold, people are lingering outside, people watching, and peacocking in new spring outfits. But there’s still a chill at night. Rather than carry a coat (I can’t stand the thought of wearing one now!) I love to wear shawls. I got a beautiful pashmina in India, but I’ve got my eye on the gorgeous creations of ShawLux. Designer Annyu Gyani works with artisans in India and Kashmir on her line that takes the traditional silk, cashmere, pashmina base of Indian shawls and reimagines them in contemporary colors and patterns. (Her handy reference page points out that pashmina comes from goats in the Himalayas, which means the $5 versions on the street aren’t of course real!)
I am in love with the “Bead It” shawl in hot pink with turquoise beads. I love how the gorgeous warm base color is complemented by the cool turquoise and simple motif: it’s funky and elegant at the same time. “Once Burnt” has a quilted look with autumn colors that would look cozy for fall (it would be cute as a throw, too)! The cotton and cashmere squares are darling, too. “Bohemama”, a cotton and metallic scarf, is gorgeous! A rich madras plaid with delicate fringe and subtle shine are lovely and perfect for a pretty vibe. Are you all like me and into the drapey shawl look, or do you swear by your trench coat or fail safe cardigan? Right now I’m smitten with these pretty designs!
P.S – Last month, ShawLux became available at select Nordstrom stores nationwide!
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Holy Moly! My favorite shop, Anthropologie once again travels to India and as always creates a lovely catalogue but this time, they came back with some gorgeous footage too. No other shop can capture the detail and subtle designs of India as does Anthro. The film is short, sweet, and captivating!
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Hi everyone! Richa from Mala Handmade here happy to report that BollyInstyle’s first designer get-together was a rousing success! When a regular reader and Moonsoup boutique owner contacted us about hosting some artisans we had recently featured on the blog for an event, we loved the idea. Building an online community is fantastic, but having the chance to meet people we write about and help introduce them to the public is really special. It’s so nice to share stories and trade tips with other designers that share a similar aesthetic and appreciation for how hard it is to start a business! But I’m thrilled that we also got the chance to meet other designers that came out to the event.
Samara Mahendru dropped by the event and introduced me to her adorable new children’s line, MUNY (which stands for Mumbai & New York). Samara is currently based in New York but grew up in India with a passion for textiles that I can completely understand. After spending 12 years in New York City working in fashion and design, she launched MUNY with the mission to combine the traditional Indian textiles with contemporary colors and motifs, giving the clothes an eclectic, bohemian and multicultural aesthetic. She aims for a simple, clean silhouette and airy color palettes that feel perfect for children. What I really love, though, is that Samara took the traditional practice of handblocking and amped it up with a twist in her debut collection. In order to give expression to a graphic and illustrative style she loves, Samara designed cute airplanes, skateboarding owls, bold spirals and zigs zags that are handblocked in the traditional Rajasthani style. The result is a playful & whimsical debut collection I adore! I’m grateful that Samara came out to the BollyInstyle event at Moonsoup and shared her designs with us. Here’s the first of many great collaborations aimed at discovering emerging Asian talent!
source: Gurmeet Kaur and MUNY
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Dear readers, it’s Richa from Mala Handmade I’ve been MIA for a couple weeks recently, but I’ve got a legitimate excuse: moving! I’m both excited and exhausted from moving apartments this past week in NYC, and I only moved 5 blocks south from where I was living before! I’ve got more space than I had before, including a small space for an office and…and outdoor terrace! But all of my excited has been tempered by the headache of searching for new furniture to fit the new space. It sounds exciting, especially for someone as in love with design as me, but it’s also overwhelming to make choices. The last space I lived in was full of color but I’ve decided to focus this space on a neutral palette with a lot of white…I need some tranquility!
I’m really in love with the idea of a handblock quilt for my bed, and though I’m a bit annoyed at myself that I didn’t scoop one up from Good Earth in Delhi, I’m excited see the lovely designs at Nandini and Sang and Serena. I love how the cotton weave balances the pops of color, and love the purple and white of the tribal design (Sang and Serena). They’ve also got an amazing collection of inlaid bone furniture. My eye instantly was attracted to the pop of pink, but I think that a console in creamy white (or paneer!) is lovely.
I was also in the predicament of moving from an apartment with a traditional square shaped living room to a long, narrow rectangle that didn’t fit my existing coffee table. So while that’s off to the study, I’ve got to have something for me to kick my feet up on! I repurposed these gorgeous charpoys from Ouma productions as an amazing table in the my living room, and I love it! The long bench also makes a unique coffee table, and though I got it in a really pretty metallic white, I was really tempted by the multicolor creations, too. I found mine at Calypso Home though I know there’s a version at Anthropologie…and of course several at my grandparent’s house in India! I’m still searching for a lovely rug to go underneath – and since it’s going to add a pop of color to the room, I really want to get it right. Any suggestions from you all? Where do you go for unique elements, and has anyone else done an about-face recently on color and gone all white (or vice-versa)? I can’t wait to hear from you all!
source: (from top to bottom) StyleBeat, Sang and Serena, Ouma Productions
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