The world of fashion easily lends itself to being a melting pot for cultures, traditions, and dress. Designers often state they gain inspiration for new collections from traveling the world, submerged in and engaged with less familiar cultures, and learning about what lies on the other side of globe. Textile designer Manjri Lall finds this beautiful collision of cultures to be the fuel that keeps her creativity growing.
Manjri began her career as a textile designer in India -- the country's colors, scents, and atmosphere permeate her surface designs which combine the aesthetics of the east with those of her new country, the United States. Manjri grew up on a farm in a small town in India without a television or newspapers mentioning development in the United States. She spent her time sketching and writing poetry which deepened her spiritual connections. "Textile design was always inside me and it took direction when I went to college and was introduced to art exhibits and fashion shows. I remember hearing Enigma play during one of the fashion shows, their sound was so mystical to me, and I remember telling myself I'm going to play Enigma at my first fashion show," says Manjri Lall.
Manjri's designs are fluid and bright with swirling colors that move across the surface as though they are swimming in an ocean. Each of her scarves tells a simple and personal story of her "coming to America" experience. "My stories are simple. I hope that my designs connect with and bring out the personal stories of those who have one of my pieces," says Manjri.
She mentions that the story her designs tell has taken her nearly 40 years to bring to life. Her design process begins with a blank canvass, a 100% silk fabric laid on a stretcher frame, then she uses her gutta resist bottle to sketch her design on the silk. Finally, Manjri applies low-impact dyes with her brush, staying within the resist outline, letting the brush dictate the interactions between the colors. "I find working with brushes therapeutic -- they allow me to slow down and take time to create my next masterpiece."
Manjri will be participating in her very first fashion show during the Fall Fashion Expo and I'm excited she choose to unveil her first collection with Redress Raleigh. Manjri's first collection represents the collision of traditional Indian dress and New York City's modern, high fashion. "I see this fusion between India and United States in music, so why not in fashion?!" asks Manjri.