What If You Could Wear The World On You…

On one of my trips to the interiors of India, I had the pleasure of meeting another travel writer – one who had twice my experience in the world of writing and travelling. One could tell she loved to travel and had travelled far and wide just by looking at her. Before I could even begin a conversation, my eyes fell on her bag from Barcelona, placed over her crumpled scarf which read “Made in Romania”. She would later tell me about her passion for collecting things from every place she visited while showing me stuff she had accumulated from all over the world.

If A Dress Could Remind You Of A Song…

I watch a pair of Latvian musicians in their traditional clothing in Riga.

I watch a pair of Latvian musicians in their traditional clothing in Riga.

That girl made me rethink my views on shopping. I had almost renounced my habit of excessive buying on my trips, knowing very well that those things would lie forgotten in my closet once I was home. But I did not know how powerful a statement it is to wear your journey on you. A hat from Houston, a necklace from Nairobi, a dress from Dresden, a bracelet from Brazil, a scarf from Scandinavia, earrings from Italy, shoes from Sri Lanka, and a bag from Burgundy. It sounds poetic. And feels even better. Besides, that would make a great conversation starter wherever you go! I still remember a pretty yellow frock which a Latvian singer wore as she sang a daina (read – The Romance of Riga) in Riga’s Old Town Square. Every time I think of that dress, I can hear her sing.

Inspiration From The Streets

Colourful apartments line a Philadelphian sidewalk.

Colourful apartments line a Philadelphian sidewalk.

I really wished I wouldn’t have to travel so much to own pieces of other countries. So, when I heard about VIDA & Co, and how they are shaking up the world of fashion and design, I was interested. Their unique concept of getting designers from across the world to submit their designs makes them a global hub for international art. And what’s more? You get to wear those designs! So, an artist in Abu Dhabi could have her work replicated by a Pakistani weaver on a fabric sourced from France, so a girl like me, sitting in California, could buy that online! Doesn’t this dissolve distances? Watch VIDA’s story in this video:-

The artists who contribute to VIDA are painters, photographers, sculptors, textile designers, calligraphers and sketch and 3-D artists. This means you could wear a work of art or an actual photo of a real scene somewhere in the world. VIDA is running a sale on their site and you could get some amazing scarves and skirts designed by global artists for a steal!

Smell The Grass On The Other Side

The shades of brown contrast beautifully against the green.

The shades of brown contrast beautifully against the green.

When you hold an artefact made in a different part of the world, you buy into their culture. You can’t not think about the lush fields of Punjab when you pull on a satin Patiala and feel a little Punjabi yourself. Nor can you forget the vibrant tulips of Holland when your handbag is painted all over with those. A simple piece of clothing can activate a lot of our senses. A top can transport you to a different land. You could be sitting in Mumbai, smelling the handcrafted perfumes of Paris when your cushion covers tell the story of a Parisian perfumer.

When Weavers Weave Stories In Their Fabric

A Bhutanese weaver has her work examined in Thimphu.

A Bhutanese weaver has her work examined in Thimphu.

Many months ago, I was in Bhutan with my family, and we hopped into this textile museum in the capital. The female weavers looked elegant in their kira-skirts (the traditional outfit which every national sports with pride) as they carefully wove kiras with a combination of fabric textures and colours, yarns of colourful wool by their side, to add warmth to their designs.

Persian Carpets That Can Magically Make You Fly

An old Irani trader displays Persian carpets at a souk in Sharjah.

An old Irani trader displays Persian carpets at a souk in Sharjah.

I began the year 2017 with my first foreign trip to UAE. In Sharjah, most of my spare time would be spent exploring souqs full of rich fabric. The Persian stores, especially, had some of the finest carpets I’ve ever run my fingers over. A little chat with the Irani owner would reveal to me that each carpet is 100% hand-made, some with years of effort. Imagine sitting on one of these plush carpets, feeling like Jasmine (with or without an Aladin) as you fly (in your mind) to another destination! That is the power of a good product from a different culture.

When A State Is On Your Shoulders

I wear a Rajasthani designer's kurta to peer over Sajjangarh (near Udaipur).

I wear a Rajasthani designer’s kurta to peer over Sajjangarh (near Udaipur).

My recent trip to Udaipur and beyond saw me wear Indian kurtas all through. The intricate designs and the light fabric worked really well in the sun and kept me smiling through the high temperatures. You too should try going traditional when you travel. And, don’t forget to get a memory you can wear!

Do you buy clothes when you visit abroad?

Would you like to own a designer outfit from another continent?

Write your comments below! 🙂

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