Clothing Designer Celebrates Traditional Textiles and Modern Design at Silk & Spice Event
Some of the most beautiful fabrics ever handcrafted line the stalls of Mumbai’s textile bazaars. But in our mass-manufactured, mass-marketed fashion world, few of us in the States ever have the chance to incorporate them into our own wardrobes.
This November, custom clothing designer and patternmaker Dorothy Jones, owner of Bespoke on Cherokee Street, traveled to India to delve into the rich tradition of textile art and expand the shop’s creative palette for her clientele. What she brought back to her showroom were 230 yards of diverse fabrics and the history behind each stunning piece.
“Because we design with the customer, I try to make sure what I offer them is something they can’t get in the regular market,” says Jones. “Fabrics from India are something you’d never see made into commercial garments. It’s an amazingly beautiful tradition, and the methods of textile making are so broad. To be able to offer people that heritage, beauty and something that truly speaks to them is an incredible opportunity.”
On Jan. 26, you can be among the first to see the unveiling of Jones’ finds at Silk & Spice, a free event designed to help you expand your personal style beyond the fashion industry’s borders. In addition to showcasing the fabric, the evening features a special chai and ginger cocktail from sponsor Big O Ginger Liqueur, traditional Indian snacks and giveaways of chai tea, spices and other goods brought back from India.
During Silk & Spice, you can see the beauty and feel the artistry of the fabrics, from hand-dyed cottons featuring saturated hues and bold block prints to ethereal silks and lines dramatically adorned with hand-stitched embroidery and hand-beaded designs.
A number of samples will also be on hand to demonstrate how traditional Indian silhouettes can be used as a jumping off point for modern designs. Jones was particularly inspired by a gentleman’s formal jacket which, when shortened and curved closer to the body, creates an ideal shape for a woman’s business jacket, especially when constructed with a light-as-air brocade.
While Silk & Spice gives guests the chance to learn more about the custom design process, for Jones, one of the most important elements to the event is highlighting the history and celebrating the craftsmanship of traditional textiles. “Every person I met with in India really wanted me to know how the fabric was made and what the traditions were surrounding it,” she says. “They were proud parents as they brought out each piece, talking about the history, the colors and the patterns. Each one was a true evangelist of the art form, and I’m excited to share their stories with our customers.”
Images courtesy of Bespoke.