Les Indiennes - Summer 19/20

Our summer collection is called “Les Indiennes” as a homage to my French heritage and a celebration of the traditional Rajasthani printing craftsmanship and cultural history that we are committed to nurture through our work with the team of The Stitching Project and local traditional weavers and printers.

After my father passed two years ago, my sister purchased a house in Provence as a sanctuary for our family. After visiting the region, I realised why a part of me had always felt at peace in India. The cloths that surrounded me throughout my childhood in France and which I thought were traditional French patterns have a strong link to India and I was surrounded by them again there. So I did some research on these beloved prints that were adorning my aunts' skirts, my mother’s curtains and discovered a wealth of cultural history between our countries.

Textiles were brought by traders of the Silk Road to Europe in the mid 17th century and became so popular that their importation and production became prohibited in France by a Royal French ordinance in 1686 to protect the local industry well after Armenian merchants introduced the Indian traditional printing techniques in the port of Marseille and taught the French who continued its production. Legalisation didn’t happen again for another century and by then, Marseille was the epicentre of production.

This story has become so personal to me linking my childhood to my present, once again showing me the power of what some consider a simple cloth. To me, that simple cloth is a way to celebrate and nurture my heritage and history but it is also a symbol of the importance of craftsmanship as a way to communicate between cultures, to respect each other’s uniqueness and wealth of knowledge. This is all I hope for The ANJELMS Project to be a messenger of.