The other day I received a call from Kavisha (designer at Patch Over Patch). She wanted me to cover a touching story about a bridal lehenga on this blog. After listening to the making of that costume, I decided; this would be an inspiring story to pass on to you.
The paraphrasing of Bhargavi’s (the bride) experience was very mindful and commendable. Also, I must mention that am so thankful being in touch with Kavisha. And that she got the opportunity to design this beautiful lehenga. This post is less on the note of fashion and is more rooted in the art created by blind children.
Let me just stop twirling here and get you straight to the story that’s both stunning and awakening.
Bride’s Role on the Lehenga Designing
How did Bhargavi come up with this idea for her Lehenga?
On a solo trip to Nepal shortly before my wedding, I was once strolling around the lake of Pokhra. While I was admiring the scenery, shopping and nightlife; there were a lot of pashmina shops.
I came across this one particular pashmina shop with a hoarding board that read “all the pashmina in this shop is made by blind people”. I was puzzled.
At the front of the shop, they kept a textile machine. A person was operating it to make the pashmina. However, I went closeby to realise that he wasn’t blind. It was shocking. Since that moment, the thought was stuck deep inside my mind.
The planning and organising of my wedding were soon after my return from Nepal. So I was looking for ideas for my wedding and especially my wedding lehenga.
Thoughts of honouring the specially-abled children were recurring in my mind. I wanted to include them in the process of my wedding; in a way that the world can recognise and respect them. I wish to represent it to the world that art created by anyone can be captured in a beautiful way. Hence, I decided to impose artwork/drawing created by specially- abled children on my wedding dress.
Time to take action on the idea.
I considered contacting “blind people’s association” from Ahmedabad to help me conceptualise this idea. I had interacted with them in the past during one of my architecture case-study. Therefore, I was familiar with the process and the environment at their campus.
To discuss their involvement in the process, I met the dignitaries at the management level of the association. Consequently, they were delighted to be a part of the process. It also helped me gain confidence in the idea. I am really grateful to the association for supporting me at every step.
Approximately 65 students participated in the art-mela organized by us to collect the artwork of these children. It has been one of the highest numbers of student turnout for an event. All the students, parents, teachers and helpers were extremely excited and enthusiastic for being a part of this idea development.
Selection of Designer for the Bridal Lehenga
I needed a designer who can translate this beautiful thought in reality. A passionate designer who can put her heart and soul into the process and make a masterpiece. I needed someone I can trust, someone who can understand me.
Kavisha Parikh is a friend of mine, who had recently started her “Patch over Patch” brand creation. Her understanding of the fabrics, aesthetics and style, was admirable. So I approached her for designing my lehenga. She very happily agreed to be part of the process after listening to my ideas and formulations.
Kavisha’s role as the Designer of Lehenga
When the Bride shared the Idea with Kavisha
One day I was simply sitting in my workshop discussing with my masterji and out of nowhere, I got a call from my old roommate. She instantly asked me if I can design her wedding lehenga.
Being a fashion designer, I was blown away with such a bold idea that a bride can think on her biggest day. Even my brain started running to chase the thought of including the contributions of disabled children. I started thinking about it day in and day out to come up with the best design.
To process our idea of the artworks by specially abled students, we had to organise the day. We called it an art-mela. Together I and Bhargavi started discussing and developing themes that we can give to the children.
The Selection of Themes for Artworks
We needed something that would be easy for these children to understand and reflect that on a paper. I thought of giving them on the spot to draw their self- portrait.
I wanted these children to draw how they see themselves, how they feel they look, what are the things that make them happy, how they perceive happiness as, what are the things that define them.
Bhargavi shared Some initial photographs of the artworks with me. Their innocent strokes of abstract lines were mesmerising. It was amazing to see uneven lines used for drawing objects. Some kids used their fingers as a medium to paint flowers beautifully. In addition, the reflections of their emotions in making human figures, self-portraits, were so heartfelt.
Together these children gave us 163 drawings and all of the drawings were reflecting different emotion in it. After looking at such an interesting result, I wanted to incorporate a maximum number of drawings in the designing of bridal lehenga.
In the process, I ended up using 140 of these drawings in my final composition. And that’s how the curating of the lehenga was started. Am jovial that the lehenga came out to be so artistic.
While the story and agenda were shared with me, I was so much looking forward to the result. When I get to see the lehenga, I went all gaga over it. Though I saw the lehenga only in images; I wonder how gorgeous will it looks on the beautiful bride “live”.
Honestly, I was tempted to touch the art captured on that fabric. It is so soulful I believe. I hope, wish, pray that our generation and forth will be taking such inspiring steps for the greater good of everyone concerned.
Have you ever came across such moving stories?
#forsocialcause #beautyliesintheeyesofthebeholder #translatingemotion