Spring is officially here! The arrival of spring means many things - new life in the animal and plant kingdoms, and a chance to "spring clean" and start fresh. However what I look forward to the most are the style changes- especially the unique patterns and vibrant colors. Fashion has always intrigued me as a form of art. I see it as the "second skin" that allows us to communicate the most intangible element of our humanity - personality. I love wearing bright, funky colors and patterns regardless of the season or what my "color analysis" might dictate. If I'm feeling down, dressing up literally brightens my mood. Since I was a kid, I've filled sketch books with fashion illustrations inspired by various cultures and styles.- likely due to my cross-cultural upbringing. Growing up, visits to India always included the tradition of custom-stitching churidhars. We'd go to a textile store, pick from a diverse array of fabrics, and finally entrust them to a neighborhood tailor with design specifications. It's a cheap process- the cloth usually totals around Rs. 400 (~$6), and the tailoring cost starts around Rs.300 (~$4.50). You could get an entire custom sewn outfit for under $11! As a born-and-raised American with strong Indian roots, mixing Indian prints with western designs and vice versa felt like the ultimate expression of my split identity. On a trip to India in 2014, I designed an A-line dress with a retro boat neck and Anarkali-inspired pleating. I found a gorgeous pink fabric with a multicolored batik pattern on the border. I gave the tailor my design and instructions, and she stitched it beautifully! My favorite part is the evidence of human touch- little stitching imperfections that give the garment personality- one strap is wider than the other, and the belt loops are misaligned. I think it's funky and unique- perfectly suitable for me!
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