Supporting the production of ethically made treasures is not just something we say we do, its something we actually do and take great pride in doing. Using the quieter winter season in Ibiza to our advantage, Victoria takes the opportunity to meet personally with the artists & artisans who bring her visions to life in India. An enormous respect for the incredible craftsmanship & friendly nature of the locals makes the work Victoria does extremely stimulating; when the noise of the streets is sometimes unbelievable, unbearable and unimaginably loud, Victoria will close her eyes and try to feel she is at home. Years of practice has taught her to selectively block out the screeching and clanging, and human voices – a discipline she affirms is simply above all yoga!
Blessed with the ability to turn almost anything she sees into a future print or design either for her clothing brands, or for her always expanding homewares collection, Victoria possesses the somewhat scary skill of thinking at the same speed as the Delhi traffic! Yes, her mind is constantly whirring at a million miles per hour but luckily for us all, is not quite as chaotic. Although curiosity may kill the proverbial cat, it has quite the opposite effect on Victoria and with a metabolism that seems to thrive on hard work, travel and creativity, it is no wonder she cannot sit still. Inspiration is truly everywhere and Victoria soaks up every last bit of it. Her daily routine in Jaipur begins with waking to sounds of the trains in the distance as they make their way across India, paired with the chirping of all types of birds from hornbills to peacocks and parrots, while cheeky monkeys eagerly await their breakfast bananas so they can scarper off across rooftops and play in the trees. Mornings are then filled with exciting excursions to visit craftsmen like the button man. Spending 3 hours with said button man may seem like a punishment to some, but for Victoria it is an absolute pleasure. Sifting through hundreds of buttons to select the perfect match to add that special “twist” to a garment is her idea of fun and the detail on these hand made buttons really is astonishing.
Afternoons are for whizzing through the city to meet the lovely ladies who are bringing our patchwork designs to life in the form of floor cushions, mattresses and gorgeous blankets made from recycled saris & fabrics stitched together with small running stitches known as Kantha. Extended meetings with our partners to finalise our summer collections consist of deep discussions about hand block prints and silk screen prints and often turn into dinners with friends. Visits to the team at SEWA, the Self Employed Women’s Association we work with in Delhi, allow Victoria to put faces to the voices she works so closely with the rest of the year and more often than not, have a fantastic laugh with these talented artisans.
The bore of being stuck in a standstill camel traffic jam engulfed in thick smog and enduring horrific temperatures gives her the opportunity to gaze out of the windows and turn the passing sights into projects… the intricately painted buildings may be transformed into new prints for her collection of beautifully bohemian dresses, the colourful balconies of turbans may become a hand painted mural to decorate the walls of a home, the cows, birds & elephants may become hand embroidered designs on a tea towel or a cushion.
A memorable giggle for Victoria was a scene during the Wedding Season in the buzzing city of Jaipur, where grooms on horseback, reminiscent of lost romeos, gallop the streets on their way to meet their brides and cause traffic havoc, much to the utter despair of the drivers and complete admiration of Victoria. With her drivers swerving, swearing and gesticulating in all directions like a many armed Shiva, they navigated the roundabouts yet successfully knocked down the Puri Wallah who almost crashed into them, dodging a cow! The galloping cavalier rode on, not knowing in which corner of the traffic lights stood his bride, until full spotlights and drumming caught his attention. Then off he trotted, grinning from ear to turban – colourful eyeshadow and glittering garments shimmering with his excitement at seeing his bride (maybe for the first time!)
Evenings may be spent taking dusty road trips to Jodhpur, smiling at the camels, cows & elephants along the road while admiring the breathtaking sunsets in the desert, highlighted by the beautiful locals wearing colourful saris along the way. Selecting embroidered bedspreads from tribal women made in the Thar desert is the perfect end to a perfect day.