In one of my many visits to DeBois Textiles, I discovered a bin that is marked “Hippie Mix”, which is a very funny, if slightly inaccurate description.
This massive bin is filled to overflowing with Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese, African, South and Central American and other native and traditional clothing. I am always drawn the the incredible sparkle and sheer volume of traditional sub-Himalayan clothing. It may have something to do with living in Bethnal Green, a very Bangladeshi section of London.As you may remember, we visited Little India in Queens, New York in September and I marveled at all of the amazing jewelry and clothing. Although it’s a bit overwhelming sometimes, I can’t help but admiring the enormous craftsmanship that went into these things, even if some of it is machine-stitched!So it was with great fun that I plunged into a 6x6x6 foot box to see what I could find. I’d already snagged a serene taupe silk caftan with beautiful embroidery on it, and made it into a pillow cover. On that trip I also got a Korean wedding dress with huge hand-painted flowers on the hot pink silk, and a 10+ foot long sari wrap with metallic fibres running through it. My friend Lisa and I had a great time sorting through the “oriental” section with the colourful silks and cheong-sam dresses that look so incredible. Lisa scored a stunning obi sash in the most amazing greens that she thought would look fabulous as a table runner. What blew me away was a silk-satin skirt that must have weighed in at about ten lbs. It had hundreds of small beaded flowers on it and then a band of beading around the hem.
Aside from the mind-boggling workmanship on these clothes, what really has me in a spin is the price tag… about $5.00 each!