Following the sun.

As some of you know, my work takes me to India regularly. In the winter months I take a trip to Jaipur where I work on new designs and my upcoming summer collection. It is a time when back home the weather has drawn in and the heating is on full blast, and if I stayed in the Uk my instinct to hibernate would kick in.

I'm grateful that following some Christmas trading, I squirrel enough funds away to get on a flight to India and follow the sun. There is something very magical about Jaipur, I think its combination of the balmy warmth of the sun, the beauty of the architecture and the art, and the slightly bonkers speed at which life wizzes past you here. It's just strangely conducive to getting those creative juices flowing. There is space for your brain to decompress from life back home and start exploring some of your ideas. There are also some wonderful opportunities to get stuck in and participate in your passions, mine being natural dyeing and hand block and screen printing. In the next week I'll be visiting my screen printers in Jodhpur to see firsthand the full process of printing our wonderfully colourful prints, I am hoping to have a go, but I will save that for a future blog post. 

While I'm here I like to immerse myself in the culture and atmosphere of Indian life. I always try to read at least one book by an Indian author, my book of choice at the moment is 'The God of small things' by Arundhati Roy. Most enjoyable so far. I like to attend local Rajasthani musical evenings to take in the sounds of India. But most of all I spend time working within my production, at the stitching unit with the master Ji checking the patterns and grading of the sizes checking the critical fit of the garments that I design. This is a truly immersive experience and I think it's what really connects me to this place. Working on a daily basis with the people who make my clothes and bring them to life is very rewarding. Sharing in their stories and life experiences and building those relationships adds a different dynamic completely.

So why not follow the sun this time next year and join me out in India on your very own adventure. I'm currently putting together two new itineraries for a tour of Rajasthan including a natural dyes workshop, and a textile and heritage tour of Gujarat. Due January and February next year.

Please get in touch by email if you are interested.