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Join Us at Bloomingdales
Published: September 09th 2014
Join Us at Bloomingdales
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Published: September 09th 2014
Upon landing in Sri Lanka, I immediately wanted to compare it to India. At a swanky dinner party in a renovated colonial mansion, the smartly outfitted host gently reprimanded me to leave India in India- so I did that.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
With that, I could behold Sri Lanka opening up before me- a land of Buddhist, Tamils, Muslims, and Christians recovering from a war but moving forward, surrounded by perfect oceans, rambling jungles, and scores of temples.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
To kick-start my senses, I searched for the local markets, as they are the best place look at colors and textures to get some ideas for prints. Pettah is the main market in Colombo. My driver warned me that professional pickpockets managed to snag his cell phone from his shirt pocket, so beware! I waded into the surf of humanity; past food stalls, smiling hawkers barking out the merits of their goods in mountains spilled out on the pavement in blinding sunlight. Completely lost down a back alley, I ended up in a banana warehouse where fellows in bright plaid sarongs hoisted massive bunch of neon green bananas with relaxed ease.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
To counter the chaos of the local markets, I headed to the regal Cinnamon Gardens to pay homage to Geoffrey Bawas house, the premier Sri Lankan architect. His house calmly welcomed me with whitewashed rooms interrupted by internal palm gardens. The juxtaposition of old and new is striking here; I was amongst perfectly curated local crafts mingling inside a modern house. The living rooms were covered in a 20 feet long antique textile joined with modern furniture  a veritable mix of old and new - modern and colonial, all of which reveal that what is Sri Lanka.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
A few hours south of Colombo, I stopped at Pinnawala Elephant Reserve. Herds of blue grey elephants rollicked in the river, set against a layered canopy of jungle. Next, I was off to Kandy, which is the home of the Temple of the Tooth and the Ersala Perahere, the countrys most raucous Hindu festival. I like to buy puja- offerings of vibrant lavender and pink flowers at temples as they are always delicately organized so I can make merit, as well as find some color stories for prints. I finished the day at the nearby the Peradeniya Botanical gardens, strolling by a bewildering variety of palms. My favorite is the Dr. Suez-looking kauri pines, which are twisted as if they were dancing in the wind over the picnicking families.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
The next morning, I set out for a citadel called Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is massive rock you climb up to see the commanding views of the valley- a lush green canopy as far as the eyes can see. Also in the vicinity is Kaludiya Pokuna, an archeological reserve. It had moss-covered stupas with worn caves that calmly wait buried in the trees.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Always pressing on in search of more visual ideas, I took the old highway South with the ocean on one side and trains chugging past on the other side. Of course there was a traffic jam, but for good reason as there was a Hindu parade sharing the road, a cornucopia of gods on bikes carrying paper flower trees, stilted figures hobbling past, and dark demons growling at the sarong clad families who were lining the street to clap and cheer. Pressing on to Jeffrey Bawas gardens is the perfect way to finish the day. The gardens snake over hills and down to lake terraces, accompanied by sculptures overgrown with vines. It is here that I found vistas completely relaxed and brimming with contemplativeness, like this country. I finally have some ideas for my garden I have been struggling with.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Fall 2014 Inspiration
I always believe in happy accidents in travel and design. Design comes when I am not in search of it-when I stumble into it headlong. Dazzling Sri Lanka gave me the energy and colors for this Fall collection- banana greens, dusty blue grey elephants framed, by jungles- raucous plaid sarongs and offering flowers in pink and yellows. I offer up this new collection like a puja to you- I hope your prayers will be answered.
Fall 2014 Inspiration
Cochin
Pepper has nothing in it that can plead as a recommendation its only desirable quality is a certain pungency; and yet it is for this that we import it all the way from India. Pliny The Elder.
stay
Malabar House
Malabar House
Great food and wine bar upstairs. Amazing live music live every night.
Trinity Resort
Trinity Resort
On the back waters an hour from Fort Cochin  a must.
eat
Malabar house
Malabar house
For dinner and live performance.
Kashi Gallery on Burgher Street
Kashi Gallery on Burgher Street
Great café for lunch and to see the groovy kids hanging out working on their novels.
Café Jew Town
Café Jew Town
Clean and easy right near the synagogue where you might need a fresh lime soda after.
see
Kalarippayat
Kalarippayat
The oldest martial arts forms of Asia to achieve fitness and prevent injuries. Go for the mark up part if you like seeing men put on makeup with intensity.
Bishops House
Bishops House
Lovely old house with a quirky museum.
St Francis Church
St Francis Church
Built in 1503, I love old Colonial churches with the windows all open painted in fiesta colors with birds swooping over the pews.
Chinese Fishing Nets
Chinese Fishing Nets
In Vasco da Gama Square still working and built in the 14th century!
shop
Crafters
Crafters
One of the big antique shops on Jew Towns main drag. Also, see his spices shop at the end of the road.
Heritage Arts
Heritage Arts
In Jew Town road has 7 massive warehouses dont miss one. Cochin is a port town so its easy to ship to the USA, but argue hard it might be more relaxed than the North but the dealers are not.
Idiom Booksellers
Idiom Booksellers
Amazing collection of books on India.
Sri Lanka
stay
Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama
The Heritance Kandalama looks out over beautiful Sri Lanka. If you want a breathtaking view, you can find it here.
Taru Villas
Taru Villas
Taru Villas are absolutely exquisite!
Aathreya Ayurveda Spa
Aathreya Ayurveda Spa
The spa is a must!
Closenberg Hotel
Closenberg Hotel
On the water.. what could be better?
Kandy House
Kandy House
The Kandy house is a beautiful and luxurious spot.
eat
Tintagel Restaurant
Tintagel Restaurant
Be sure to make time to eat here!
see
Geoffrey Bawa House
Geoffrey Bawa House
Extraordinary! Must see!
Rekawa Beach
Rekawa Beach
What's better then the beach?
Mirissa Bay
Mirissa Bay
Beautiful!
Yala National Park
Yala National Park
This National Park is so fun and beautiful.
Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation
Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation
This turtle hatchery is unbelievable!
shop
Michael Ondaatje Running in the Family
Queens Hotel Book Shop
Queens Hotel Book Shop
Worth your while.
Paradise Road
Paradise Road
Definitely make sure to shop here!
My experience at John Robshaw
Published: July 30th 2014
My experience at John Robshaw
This summer, I spent my time interning at John Robshaw Textiles. I worked mainly on social media and web-marketing related tasks, but I also got a wonderful opportunity to see how the company worked from the inside. From my first day on the job, I felt that I became a a member of the JRT team. My colleagues were always more than willing to help out, and it was very reassuring to work and learn in that kind of environment. A few days after I had started working at JRT, I was telling a friend about everything I had been doing at my internship so far. As I explained what my job was, I then realized that I had only been at JRT for three days, yet I had already learned so much about the industry. As soon as I had step foot in the office and I saw the showroom, I fell in love with the home textile industry. As I complete my internship, I love the industry even more because I can now appreciate all the work that is behind the scenes. It amazes me that so much effort goes into each step and I was able to enjoy the feeling of fulfillment with the work I did at JRT. My internship had helped me professionally grow and learn, not only about the textile industry, but also what I am passionate about!
My experience at John Robshaw
My experience at John Robshaw
My experience at John Robshaw
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