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Uprooted – Tailored Jacket

In many ways this design tells my story of uprooting, of finding myself in a global culture and still being me and being rooted…
The Indian Ocean was the seat of thriving trade since ancient times. Such a trade was characterized by two main features: the centrality of India and the importance of textiles. Among the many areas facing the Indian Ocean, it was India that co-ordinated a trade spanning several thousands miles from the horn of Africa to Southeast Asia, eventually reaching China and Japan, West Africa and Europe. Textiles – especially cottons such as calicoes and chintzes – were central in this exchange, and India’s productive skills and high-quality products were widely appreciated. They were also cultural ‘connectors’: artefacts whose very materiality shaped notions of craftsmanship and design that became widely shared across vast parts of the world.