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January 30, 2010 / Wendy Joan

Inspiration: India

Go: Jaipur

Monday morning on my drive to work, I heard an NPR story on the Jaipur Literature Festival, an annual festival held in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan (if you saw Wes Anderson’s film The Darjeeling Limited, most of the film was shot there). Listen to the story

This intimate festival, where VIP treatment does not exist, is co-directed by William Dalrymple, historian, travel writer and loved by dear friend and fellow Indian traveler Heather O’Leary.

India is so romanticized (not that I’m not guilty of it) and I love this quote from Dalrymple’s co-director Namita Gokhale:

“There are so many brilliant young, old and middle-aged people across India who are really tired of the trivialization of things. This festival proves that there are a lot of very, very bright Indians and other very bright people from around the world who want a relief from the banal stupidity that surrounds a lot of what they read in magazines or see on TV.”

My 2010 goal: Attend the Jaipur Literary Festival in 2011. It’s on the fridge, so I won’t forget.

Make: Punjabi pants

I spent most of 2007 living in Pondicherry, a former French colonial town on the Indian Ocean coastline. It’s hot there, and out of cultural respect, I did my best to cover up, even that meant sweating through my long sleeve shirts. It didn’t take long for me to get smart and dress like the Indian girls, with a kurta and long pants made of light and breathable material.

When it comes to Indian pants, Punjabi-style are my favorite. They’re long and billowy, and remind me of the turquoise pants that Princess Jasmin wears in Aladdin pants. Women from the Punjab, also a northwestern Indian state, traditionally wear this style pant. Which leads me to the inspiration:

If you’re not familiar with the Uniform Project, you should be. Since May 2009, Sheena Matheiken has been wearing one dress, and will wear it until May 2010. Every day, she posts a photo of herself in the dress and the killer accessories she’s chosen to go along with it. The accessories are from eBay and Etsy, and are often donated by designers of all levels and capacities. Most importantly, the project is a year-long monetary fundraiser for the Akanksha Foundation, a grassroots movement working to revolutionize Indian education. When the project wraps up in May 2010, the contributions will go toward Akanksha’s School Project, funding uniforms and other educational expenses for children living in Indian slums.

Goal #1: Donate a yet-to-be-determined accessory piece to the Uniform Project.

Goal #2: Make a pair of my own Punjabi pants. Note that learning to sew is a goal is included in Wendy’s 2010 fridge goals. I can sew, but not on a machine. This WILL change.

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Bridgit / Feb 1 2010 1:21 pm

    Hi Wen, you look like an old dear friend in one of your pics. I like the little, and not so little, Indian boys tailing you. B

  2. Rocky / Feb 9 2010 4:27 am

    Yeah Center Of Attcaction “ShowPiece” As Indians Call It

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