the simplest things
The day before my flight to Mumbai I started accumulating a bit of anxiety. It started with a bit of heartburn then the unsettling notion that not everything was done and my errands list seemed to have reappeared with more on it and then panic settling in. I’m like my late grandfather, my father’s father, one that needs and loves a routine. I love being scheduled. You can throw an assortment of tasks at me from morning shoots, afternoon meetings and then some deadlines and an evening with the clients, but sever from my schedule just the slightest and then I start to panic. Well, my parents asking me to go to India was a big feat. I’m someone who needs to have my life and business sorted before I go anywhere and I am knee deep in work and deadlines, this month being an important one for the consultancy. And leaving the comfort of my flat and office for a country where wifi-connection is never prioritized gave me a bit of a worry. (Sidenote: it took me 5 hours today to find any sort of wifi connection.) Despite it all, we decided to make this trip a proper coverage and introduction to my culture and a way to share with you a bit more about my upbringing.
but, I digress
We started our trip first in Mumbai with some initial preparation. I met with a series of PR companies to help me choose and style Indian outfits for two of the outfit posts that will be shared on c&é. On Tuesday morning we made our way to Gujarati, just north of Mumbai. Gujarat is the state my family is from in the eastern peninsula. Before making our way to Surat, the country’s textile hub, we stopped in Bilimora where my mother’s parents reside. It has been 3 years since I held my grandmother’s hand and hugged my grandfather ever so warmly and then made my way to the swing that hangs on a balcony overlooking some hills in the distance. Today and for the rest of the week and part of next week, I’m in Surat. The textile industry thrives in this region of the country.
Coming off the highway passing a series of shanty villages and bright colored sari-adorned women carrying raw materials, you are greeted with a number of buildings that support the textile processing association. And soon a few pick up trucks that housed bright colored chiffon made their way through the busy streets. In Surat, I hope to capture and share the energy of this industrial city. One that provides jobs to many and is considered the engine behind the bourgeoning fashion industry of India. Clothes labeled ‘made in India’ have a horrible stigma, and what the West doesn’t realize is that there are many labor and union laws placed to support garmentry. Unfortunately, ‘designer’ seems to be a numb word that doesn’t really have the same denotation as in the Western world.
Therefore, I hope in the next several weeks I am able to bring light to this world and share how India is challenging the way we view Indian clothes by modernizing traditional jewelry, moving into couture, focusing on artisanship and incorporating a sophistication to how textiles are used that is unique to Indian fashion houses. Then we are off to Rajastan, the state that was once dominated by the royals and thus freckled with palaces in every corner. Gorgeous bath houses, views from forts, it’s quintessentially Indian. This is where we, my tripod and I, plan on shooting and documenting the clothes I plan on sharing with you. Each item of clothing, each photograph’s backdrop is meticulously chosen to bring you the most authentic India, the India that I know. Finally, I will be ending my trip back in Mumbai with a collaboration with TripAdvisor to bring you a series of city guides, so you too can enjoy the India that I know and love. If that sounds good to you, grab your passports and put on an extra layer of sunscreen, because your trip starts now!