So last year, Cait was heading on one of her regular jaunts to Burma and I sent her on a mission. As in “here’s 50 bucks, go crazy in the fabric market.” Oh boy did she! Cait returned home with a huge pile of multi-coloured fun and almost immediately, she designed for me this cute little romper that now has a reputation of its own in Phnom Penh.
But now what to do with the remaining pile of beautifully embroidered Burmese fabric? And so it sat in my ever expanding trunk of textiles. Soon batik from Indonesia became the big to do and I actually forgot about the bounty that sat undisturbed in my home office.
Thankfully, I have the luck of being surrounded by the best group of people in a city full of colour. So when inspiration hits, it’s like someone just dropped an anvil on coyote. This wound up with a Monday morning spent rifling through all of this embroidered beauty and going out of the box of my usual shirt dress uniform. And in the spirit of all this learning we’re doing this summer, I decided to use my also neglected Wacom Tablet to overlay some of the ideas I had onto the textiles themselves. And I thought I’d share some of them today. So here goes…
Purple. According to my mother, it’s very 2008. But I am so digging the hue and all of its values and intensities when it comes to this striped fun pile that Cait brought back. But I had no idea what to do with it all. Until I remembered this little poncho that my pal Jane wore one evening. It’s super simple. And mega flattering with a pair of tights or skinny sandblasted jeans. I can absolutely see myself throwing it on when I just want to be covered up in a blanket.
I’ve always shied away from midriff bearing two pieces that others with longer, lithe torsos are more suited for wearing. But goddamnit, I want to get on that too. Plus after a month back in Asia and avoiding the trappings of the breads, meats and cheeses I was gorging myself on while in Europe, I’m finally feeling a little lighter and wanting to give this a try. With my wider hips, I decided to go for a pencil-fitted skirt that would also benefit from some of that gorgeous embroidery finishing at the bottom of the skirt.
Cait included a very cool longyi with the coolest pseudo-chevrons lining the bottom. A longyi is a traditional Burmese garment and its so incredibly simple as a skirt with fixed measurements of 2 x 0.8m. It’s the perfect maxi-skirt for me, no alterations needed. And at 100% cotton, paired with a simple white ribbed tank top, the ideal outfit for our current weather patterns.
I’m a sucker for red, but I have no clue what to do with this silk and cotton blend with a sumptuous lavender and mustard yellow embroidery pattern. I’m going to have to toss this to Cait when she gets back with all her new fashion design know-how.