Born and raised in India, my love for intricately hand-detailed things is as much a part of me as is my guaranteed excitement for spicy food, my supreme talent for haggling and my unruffled feathers if ever a family of cows were to decide to mingle with the traffic. Feeding this love was easy when I lived in my home city of Bangalore… the nearest street markets were each a treasure trove of beautifully dyed embroidered fabrics, all sorts of hand-carved and embellished home décor objects, smiling and talented local women weaving colorful beaded trinkets right in front of your eyes…
As you can rightly guess, all through my teenage years, my allowance would usually disappear soon after it would arrive!
Fast forward to the present in a country that’s oceans away from the motherland, I still treasure so many of my favorite pieces from back then- a pair of hand-shaped terracotta earrings that I often wear with tees and jeans, embellished pillowcases that greet us in the bedroom, a few painstakingly hand-embroidered saris and tunics that I wish I had the chance to show off more often, the list goes on. Watching these exact South Asian design staples- embroidery, embellishments, prints- become bohemian ‘trends’ in the west has personally been a moment of “What took you guys so long?? Welcome to my age-old-trendy closet!”.
It’s why I get excited about boutiques like Kynah- not only do they make accessible beautiful South Asian fabrics and designs to those of us expats separated from our favorite local markets by $500 airfares, but they also showcase the best of it to those that are only just discovering what we’ve always known and loved.
As stunning as Kynah’s traditional lehengas and saris would be for festive occasions, I picked this tasseled vest to style for upcoming warm weather. The details are so colorful and fun, the structured longline shape does something even for my short legs, but my favorite thing about it is how connected it makes me feel to my roots. :)