Sunday, February 13, 2011

When Italy married India

Catch this post on Vogue India website here

“You can either frustrate a woman by making her aware of all her flaws or you can make her feel absolutely beautiful, I choose latter as designer,” remarks Rosenda Meer. “Size is an aberration; we have massified all of world’s women in sizes of 2, 4, 16... everybody is a different shape. “

“High Heels are like Burkhas for the modern day woman. Both are societal obligations that women wore over themselves. Its unnecessary. Some may find a woman in high heels very attractive but I just find them utterly uncomfortable and even insecure sometimes. It’s attractive when you are comfortable, when you laugh, when you look great in what you wear. “

“I hate fashion. Fashion is about cycles, about quick disposal. Works of art and luxury need time to conceive and last beyond a lifetime. This is exactly what India is good at. It saddens me to see that most Indian designers are taking the western route to fashion instead of learning from the Japanese. They embraced their heritage and showcased a new dimension to the world.”

Rosenda is an Italian origin and Parisian boutique owner who found love and her life’s objective in India. She runs a label Le Cashmirian on Paris’s Rue de Tournen, housing products handcrafted in India. Her love affair with India has lasted over 2 decades, blame it on her chance meeting with her charming Srinagar born husband or the love of Indian crafts. Rosenda is a highly celebrated designer back home for her love for refined, unadulterated and innovative luxury.

“Fab India is fantastic start for Indian retail but how long can people wear those shapeless clothes. We need to take the step further and add more details, more draping to the gorgeous Indian textiles to make the world sit up and take notice.” Rosenda is also the author of the book, Memoirs – A Textile Journey to India.

“India and Italy have similar culture. We’re both blessed with deep cultural roots, great food and an undying love for our Ma’s. I would hate for India to lose its crafts and textile treasure to cheap modern fabrics like Italy did. Italy once had the nicest knitted laces and fabrics in all of world, look how we lost it all. Its extremely rare to sight those fabrics anymore. If all of Indian youth were to start patronizing Zara and Forever21, what will happen to the Benarasi Silks and Orrisa Ikats?”

Rosenda is also sick of Pop India movement – the loud kitschy patterns and bright Fuschia colors. “For me, India is Ochre. Its the colour of mother earth itself. India has soul to offer. Let the west offer the arrogance and disposability, India can offer timelessness and soulfulness. I love the Abraham and Thakore collections. They make India very proud.”

I met Rosenda in Auroville on our way to the Matri Mandir for mediation. Its amazing how she looks so Indian and yet like a foreigner. She tells me she worked very hard to retain her Italian roots and yet looking appropriate in India.

Isn’t it amazing to see one’s country from foreign eyes every once in a while.

Happy Valentines Day!

Much Love,


Masoom R. Minawala said...

Love this post :)

sartorial diary said...

wow,what a though provoking post!
you're right, you get a new-found appreciation for your country/heritage if you get an outside perspective on it.

Spardha Malik said...

Thanks Girls!
Rosenda is a very insightful woman. I'm so fortunate to have met her.

wobblinbetty said...

As Italian I'm so loving this post! :)

and regarding to your question about the interview on my's difficult to explain but I don't mind nudity when it is artistic while I find it very vulgar most of the times, especially when it is on tv (you know that Italian tv is famous for having half naked woman swaying their hips all day long)...
The naked woman body itself doesn't annoy me...but depends on the contest...

happy V day gorgeous!

L1L2 said...

:) but don't quite agree with the colors she has for india. india is not just ochre... she is colorful! but yeah, great post.

sartorial diary said...

uhmm gee..thanks for referring to me as a girl!!
i am a boy,clearly!