Janie takes us through her most recent trip to India with Sarah!
HOLY SMOKES — I recently got back from a trip to India. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of – my – life. I appreciate and love my life so completely but going on such an adventure made me realize, so much more, how lucky I really am. (so lucky in fact that I was able to have this opportunity on a work trip!)
Because living in tunics is a way of life for our customers, we set out to make tunics with the world’s experts. From cotton casual tunics over our swim suits to fancy silk tunics over pants, they are a wardrobe essential. But first things first- we wanted to make sure started with the right fabric and found the most perfect place to print our gorgeous artwork!
Sarah Dupre is my partner in crime. She handles all fabric development and she is quite simply one of the loveliest women I know. I love it when I get the chance to travel with her. So we were OFF! A direct flight – 15 hours later we land in Delhi, India. We stayed at The Imperial which is amazing. An amazing, amazing old word hotel – gorgeous but simple.
The most hysterical start to the day… Sarah and I come down to breakfast in…the same outfit. TRUST ME – this happens at Lilly a lot. But, the same neon orange pants? In India? I changed -but not before a picture!
Delicious breakfast and then a day spent in a tunic factory. The embroideries, the embellishments… we are in love. The company’s owner hosted us in his office for lunch and we had the most delicious homemade (by his family!) Indian meal. My favorites were DAL (lentils) and GOBI (cauliflower- grown on his farm!).
We spent day two in the printing mill. SUCH a learning experience for both of us. We are pushing them to get the colors brighter and brighter… (of course!) and they are giggling at some of our crazy prints. We knew it would take them some time to get used to the crazy things we plan to print on our tunics
First thing, not work related but have to tell you…I did YOGA. In INDIA. Isn’t that a bucket list kind of thing?!?!?! I am more of a runner/spin class/cross-fit kind of gal but I figured I just HAD to give it a try. There was lots of chanting and ooooom-ing. Have to admit- I felt great afterwards!
Huge, delicious breakfast and then off to Old Delhi with a guide. We went to a mosque where we have to take off our shoes and rent a traditional robe. Then a rickshaw ride through the trim market. This is where they sell all the stones and embellishments they put on Sari’s. It is colorful and gorgeous and you want it allllllll! Next stop was a burial tomb (that the taj mahal was modeled after). All day long, people kept taking our pictures because – well obviously they had never seen such gorgeous blonde lilly-wearing women before – we literally stopped traffic! (which is no small feat in India! wink, wink)
Then we got down to some shopping….the only word…HEAVEN. We shopped for tunics and for jewelry. Earrings, earrings earrings, and more earrings. And more earrings. Oh and that pair too.
Back at the factory we saw some of our printed fabric and played around with different ‘washes’ (which means we pre-wash the fabric and the garment so that when you purchase them it is already soft and lovely) Then we went to the most amazing trim store I have ever been too. Stacks and walls full of ribbon, tassels and lace -it was a designer’s dream.
We had a few hours before our flight home so we made the only logical decision… go get [temporary] Henna Tattoos! Indian women get them on their hands and feet before their wedding or for special occasions and it lasts about 2 weeks. HAD TO DO IT! Sarah and I each got a little something which has CRACKED-UP the office ever since our return. Listen up…I am not going to go through life HALF WAY. As I always say…let it rip!
The entire trip was absolutely amazing. I loved every second. I can’t waaaait to deliver the amazing tunics we worked on. Stay tuned…more adventures to come!
Love you too much, xx Janie