Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of a memory, an image, but this season came as a feeling from my childhood, something to be chased and reckoned with, flitting down the beaches of India, the profusion of color of Goa, the yelling of the tea man on the sleeper train, the smell of cumin on the air to let us know that we were close. Another summer, another season of transformation.
I can’t remember how we all got fed, but I remember my mother turning our old bedsheets into nightgowns, the women of my family taking old and making it new for us. I remember that we carried snacks in our pockets and drank coconut water and would swing on ropes from the trees and dive into the sea. I remember the gift of ease of movement, tacit permission to play, to dance, to live life and fill pockets with snacks and rocks. The silhouettes reflect that freedom, carefree summers and high twirl factor. I would wear my brother’s shorts under my dress to carry the snacks, so I’ve built nice big pockets into Lali dresses.
The things that we make have multiple lives. We create, the cotton that we choose could be something else, another time, another life. A sack turned into a child’s clothes. A bedsheet transformed into a nightgown. The prints recall those of the 1930s, of printed bedsheets, flour sacks and grain bags, when mothers everywhere shaped the old into new. They’re infused with the colors of Goa, joyful color palettes that speak the language of children, that recall the intricate painting on the wall of my Grandparent’s home.
As our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents created something for us years ago, summer layered over summer, so we create and gift our children another season - to run with and through, sun on shoulders and wind in their hair, to be carried and turned over and transformed over the years.