Saturday, April 18, 2009

Collection FW2008: Aux Portes du Palais

"Aux portes du palais" ("At the palace gates") is the fruit of the designer's deep understanding of Indian culture, art and mythology.  Each detail, character, animal, plant and architectural element is deliberate and richly symbolic.  The large doors signify the threshold between the known and the unknown - two worlds richly depicted in many cultures around the world.  Fruit-laden trees bursting with flowers represent Buddha in Indian folk art and symbolize fertility. The lotus flowers - Buddha's flowers - represent spiritual blossoming.

Equally illustrated are emblematic animals, revered and present in all Indian art: the elephant (ridden by Indra, the god of storms and rain) brings peace and prosperity; the horse is the symbol of wisdom and formal beauty; the cow - a nourishing mother figure - is the very image of non-violence and the tiger represents the energy of nature...

The four dancers next to the trees narrate the legends of the gods and stories from everyday life using graceful gestures.

The corners of the scarf depict examples of the protective drawings that women paint on their homes. The frieze surrounding the scarf, in the style of Indian miniatures, rich in colourful decorations, is a tribute to the delicacy of Indian art, expressed in fabrics and temple decorations alike.

I consider this scarf another fine example of a silk painting, worthy of being framed so as to adorn someone's living room, study or even bedroom. The rich symbolism is thus preserved and the scarf continues to tell a great story, much more than when it's worn.

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