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Indian Fashion: Old is New

Sunday 29 September 2019, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

$20.00 – $30.00

During the 2019 World of Wearable Art season join us and speakers Shani Pillai and Joji Jacob to discover a world of traditional Indian textiles, their history, their connections and their future.

Let us take you on a colourful and breathtaking virtual trip to India to see how Indian fashion (clothes, jewellery and accessories) has evolved over the years and the impact it has on the international fashion houses to this day. More and more Indian designers are embracing the traditional handloom weaves, tie and dye, block printing, embroidery, metal work and other embellishing techniques to create fashion that not only honours the rich heritage but also delivers to the modern senses and palate. In India, while traditional wear is still valued, there is now a growing trend of fusion that is taking the old and giving it an exciting modern twist. This multi-media presentation will visually present gorgeous, stylish Indian fusion wearables that will knock your socks off.

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Shani Pillai and Joji Jacob’s roots are in India, they are Kiwis at heart, proud Wellingtonians & honoured to be Friends of Te Papa.

Shani is of South Indian heritage and has textiles weaving in her DNA from her father’s side of the family. Her mother tongue is Tamil, she also speaks fluent English, Bahasa Malaysia and understands Cantonese.  Joji’s origins are in Kerala. He speaks fluent English, Hindi and Malayalam (his mother tongue), understands several Indian languages, and has experienced the cultures of several regions of India due to his father’s varied postings in the Indian Army. Their boutique tour business is fast gaining international recognition, with Chanel Fashion House being their latest client.

They are passionate about their cultural heritage and the traditions and arts passed down through the generations. This was distilled when they learnt of Benarasi brocade weavers committing suicide due to cheap Chinese imports robbing them of their traditional livelihood, it was the catalyst that made them decide to support these communities of artisans. This passion has propelled them to off the beaten track villages in different parts of India, through their Threads of Tradition textiles tours, en route meeting and seeing master textile artisans at work. They support selected community development groups that are helping and inspiring communities to develop and maintain their traditional livelihoods.

Fellow collectors have entrusted their collections to Shani and Joji so they can be showcased and shared widely with other textile lovers.


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Sunday 29 September 2019
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
$20.00 – $30.00
Event Categories:
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Rangimarie, L3, Te Papa
Te Papa, 55 Cable Street, Te Aro
Wellington, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051