Newsletter 27 - June-August 2002

1. news
2. this newsletter will now be quarterly
3. fashion news from Croatia
4. new members, new country
5. bad news from London
6. more links
7. a personal experience from Sarah Goodman
8. a personal note from Chantal

1. NEWS:

*** LONDON: Wed 5 June:
Femina Clothes Show: “17 innovative drapes of saree”
By Shaina N.C. at the Nehru Centre at 6:45 pm
8 South Audley Street, London W1
“Shaina NC conducts a creative workshop on 17 innovative ways of wearing saree to revive interest to an international audience.”

*** If you know or participate in an event, web site, etc. connected with draping, please let us know. This “news” feature is yours!


Although you are all looking forward to this newsletter, there will be some changes in its frequency. We do not receive enough contributions to keep it interesting on a monthly basis. It is also a lot of work for Chantal to try to find interesting things to write about every single month. This is why from now on it will be edited on a quarterly basis. This way each will hopefully be more interesting (keep on sending contributions!).
This newsletter will now come on the:
- 1st of June (June-August): deadline for contributions: 15th of May
- 1st of September (September-November): deadline for contributions: 15th of August
- 1st of December (December-February): deadline for contributions: 15th of November
- 1st of March (March-May): deadline for contributions: 15th of February

If by any chance an important piece of information arrives and cannot wait for the next newsletter, you will receive a special newsletter. For instance, if in July we hear that a course on drapes is starting in early September, with registration closing in August, we will inform you as soon as we receive that news. But don’t worry, this won’t happen often (unfortunately).
Should activity intensify and contributions increase, we would go back to our monthly newsletter. So please, keep on sending URLS, stories, news, etc.

Remember Maja Mendrilla, a fashion designer from Croatia? Well, she is keenly pursuing work on fashion drapes:

“I will have a fashion show in the beginning of June. I started practising some of the drapes (from Chantal’s book) with the help of a friend of mine. She is very talented and could very well be that I shall work with her from now on. Strength is sometimes in numbers! She has been wearing a sari (in Croatia) with delight since she was only 14 years old and is very much an expert at draping it.
We had a shoot with a group of famous Croatian singers wearing saris for a special issue of a health magazine "Healthy and Beautiful" presenting sari as the healthy spiritual clothing.”


We have this past 2 months have had several new members, especially several from France (Bonjour et bienvenue!).
We are also welcoming our first member from South Africa.


Although the Commonthwealth Institute in London had earlier confirmed that they would put on the exhibition “The Indian Sari: Draping Bodies, Revealing Lives” in 2003, they wrote that their policies had changed (again) and that they cancelled the program for 2003, so that the exhibition would not happen. Their letter left no hope that it might be put on at any time in the future. This of course if a bad blow and new efforts will have to be made to find a new venue.
It seems to me more a matter of politics than policies. The exhibition had been “killed” at the American Museum of Natural History in New York for the worst political reasons, and it seems that in London it has suffered the same fate. Anyway, I will not give up.


From a very regular contributor:
The link below is interesting in that it pictures a Mughal princess
wearing a turban.
Apparently, during the period of Mughal rule, this may have become the fashion. Did your research in India uncover this?
Answer: My research was only about contemporary main clothing, and did not cover turbans at all. But women did wear turbans in Mughal India, and very similar to those of men.

By Sarah Goodman

My interest in drapes began years ago... I think it really started when I was about 12 and attended my first renaissance faire here in California. I had a profound, life altering experience there when I was introduced to the art of costuming. As a result, I began pursuing historical clothing very seriously, almost as soon as I got home! For many years, my main focus has been on 16th century English costume which obviously has nothing to do with draped clothing... But for a while there, I was researching Scottish clothing and I think that's when I started getting curious about draping garments. I taught myself how to wrap the Great Kilt in several different styles, but eventually, I put costuming on the sidelines while I pursued my education. I decided to major in Anthropology, with the intention of focusing primarily on textiles and museum conservation. I'm still in the process of getting my degree, but I must say that it's no surprise to anyone that I would chose this direction in my life! But back to how I finally came around to Indian clothing... I started getting curious about Indian fashions when I was studying American Tribal belly dance. The costume for AT is a mix of different cultures and true to my nature, I wanted to find out where each came from... And so I started with the choli top and never looked back.
As you can probably tell, I'm a textile nut. And Indian saris are literally a dream to work with. I realize this is a bit of a round-about way of explaining my fascination with the clothing of India, but knowing me, it makes a certain amount of sense. :)
I'm just very happy to have found the Institute of Draped Clothes!


You might have noticed that there was no newsletter in May. Getting married was more work than I thought it would be, and I simply didn’t have the time.
At the wedding I wore a sari, of course, draped in the Lodhi style (p. 99 for those of you who have my book). I do recommend it: It’s very elegant and simple to wear, and stood perfect throughout our wild Irish dancing. And it doesn’t have bulky pleats on your stomach!

Top left: Exchanging our vows

Top right: best view (so far) of the sari: dancing with my father-in-law.

Left: there were also some stitched kilts... Here is the best man dancing!

PS: I might change the pictures once I get a better one of the sari.

But you can see more on my personal web page:
When we came back from honeymoon, there was unfortunately bad news from the Commonwealth Institute. Ah well. Hopefully things will get better. Maybe I should persuade a “Big Brother” participant to wear saris... It seems these days that to be noticed you need to do the most stupid and obnoxious things...

Best wishes!

Please do not hesitate to send any question, suggestion, criticism.
If you have some links to suggest, please let us know!
If you wish to write something for the newsletter, please do so and Email it to <>.

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