New Arrivals: Aztec Ribbons and Laces

Vase with flared neck céphalomorphe - Gold, Gold and cinnabar - Culture Lambayeque-Sican Museum Collection of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, Lima (19 x 11.5 cm)

Historical Aztec artifacts 

What comes to your mind when somebody talks about Aztec? To me, Aztec is a world full of colors and beautiful patterns. But in reality, it is more than just colors and patterns. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Aztec, Nahuatl-speaking people who in the 15th and early 16th centuries ruled a large empire in what is now central and southern Mexico. The Aztec are so called from Aztlán (“White Land”), an allusion to their origins, probably in northern Mexico.”

Wikipedia suggests that from 13th to 16th century Aztec Civilization  bloomed in central Mexico. Aztec patterns are mostly geometrical, with lot of detail and use of triangle and sphere. DesiCrafts brings to you a collection of Aztec pattern ribbons, laces and fabrics, so browse on…

Black and gold Aztec ribbon by DesiCrafts

Aztec pattern Gold and Black Ribbon – Buy Here

Black and Gold Chevron, Aztec Ribbon by DesiCrafts

Black and Gold Chevron Aztec Ribbon – Buy Here

Red and Yellow Aztec Ribbon

Red, Yellow and Gold Aztec Ribbon – Buy Here


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Credit to All Images:

All historical artifacts from left to right:

1. Vase with flared neck céphalomorphe – Gold, Gold and cinnabar – Culture Lambayeque-Sican Museum Collection of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, Lima 

2. Moche culture of Peru, Ornament in the form of a feline face, c.100-450

3. Large Vintage Mexican Ceramic Tree of Life Candelabra, Mexico

4. Pinterest Board Aztec Patterns


Shopping for the Holiday Season: Sari Dresses in Vogue

Sari is an integral part of Indian culture. Over the time, sari has taken many forms and adorned by women around the world, this six yards piece of fabric is now making its presence felt in the global fashion industry.
Sari is usually worn with a blouse or a top. But what would you say about those creative designers who thought it would be a good idea to make dresses for modern women using sari?

Up-cycled jewelry made using a sari, ribbons, cushion covers, curtains and bedsheets is what we all have tried at some point of time in our lives. But have a look at this gorgeous Sari dress contributed by pinner E Shelton on her Pinterest board, it looks very modern and I would be surprised if a fashion lover wouldn’t want to wear it to her next cocktail party. But wait, I am sorry to tell you that you can’t have it. Why? Well… because this sari dress is sixty four years old and part of the collection at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Another one in the list is a medium blue and gold sari dress from 1950s. This sari dress was found atTheVintageStudio that sells vintage clothes and garments made from vintage supplies. I love the detailed Jari work on the dress. The neckline and waistband on the dress looks so modern.

Nothing is better than Black and Gold (Or Black and Silver) party dress, and this off shoulder sari dress tops all of them. Look at the fine detailing of silver jari weaves over Black background on the upper part of this dress. I guess this is the pallu of the sari that is used to make the upper part of the dress. Lower part is obviously made of the other portion from the sari fabric.

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Featured Artist – Hagar Arnon Elbaz

I have been admiring her beautiful handmade jewellery for quite some time. Hagar Arnon Elbaz is the owner of Gilgulim- Designer handcrafted fashion jewelry. As Hagar would describe her jewellery – I design soft jewels for women who dare to be different.

According to Wikipedia, in Hebrew, the word gilgul means “cycle” and neshamot is the plural for “souls. Souls are seen to “cycle” through “lives” or “incarnations”, being attached to different human bodies over time.

Hagar working on a new design

Hagar working on a new design

Born and raised in the holy city of Jeruslam, Hagar Arnon is the owner and designer of all handmade jewellery that a very unique jewellery store called Gillium provides.

Hagar’s jewellery is made using textiles that she collect or buy from different shops all around the world. One can easily notice the variety and colorfulness in her jewellery. She carefully chooses the  fabrics, cut them into stripes and then sew them to form lovely shapes later to be used as beads in her handmade jewellry.

A beautiful necklace made by Hagar

A beautiful necklace made by Hagar


A full time eco-friendly jewellery designer Hagar is mother of three daughters and wife to a loving husband. You can find more about Hagar and her beautiful alternative jewellery here

Here are few more handmade pieces from Hagar’s online shop.

Browse through her Facebook page Or follow Hagar on Pinterest or Flikr 

Stay updated about Hagar through her Blog
Buy Hagar’s beautiful handmade jewellery at her shop.


Yarn Bombing Around the World

Liked this post so much that we are forced to copy and paste it as it is.  The original post appeared here:


Learn how to yarn bomb!

Knit & Crochet public art

Everything you need to get started, including tutorials and supplies!

This entry is brought to you thanks to the wonderful Lisa Roden.

First, you need the inspiration.  Find some awesome pictures of yarn bombing all around the country in this fabulous Pinterest board.  Just click on the image.

Learn a plethora of yarn bombing ideas and stitch patterns from this fabulous Pinterest board!

Learn a plethora of yarn bombing ideas and stitch patterns from this fabulous Pinterest board!

“How do I even choose what I want to yarn bomb?” you may be asking yourself, well click on the image below for some great tips & tutorials.

Learn important tips and tricks about yarn bombing from this tutorial.

Learn important tips and tricks about yarn bombing from this tutorial.

Perhaps you’d like to do some light reading about the subject before you go out and “bomb” the streets, well there’s something for you too.

Read about yarn bombing from the pros who do it on the daily. Patterns included!

Read about yarn bombing from the pros who do it on the daily. Patterns included!

Learn more about Yarn Bombing from this video interview of Ishknits – the Philly Bomber!

Ishknits about to Yarn Bomb an out-of-order public phone.

Ishknits about to Yarn Bomb an out-of-order public phone.

Now that you know all about yarn bombing it’s time for you to get started.  Lucky for you, ArtFire has a great variety of instructional books & materials for incredibly low prices. Check some of them out below,  just click on the images.

Maniharon ka Raasta : Jaipur, India

This article is a re-blog of post that appeared on

Maniharon ka Raasta

Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.

These lyrics penned by the nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu echo the sentiments that secretly unite womankind all over. What appears to the uninformed as an accessory that changes with changing trends, is actually a witness to a girl’s journey till she embraces womanhood. As a toddler her little wrists were adorned with gold and silver bangles, which over her growing years turned into charms and junk….and suddenly became auspicious companions when she stepped across the threshold into blissful matrimony as a young bride. The word bangle is derived from Hindi word ‘bungri’ meaning glass. Seashell, copper, bronze, gold, agate, chalcedony have been used to make bangles through centuries. But the art of making lac bangles at the ‘Maniharon ka Raasta’ in Jaipur is a peculiar flair, where through the length of the lane one can let his or her senses indulge in a visual canvas of colors and the music of jingling bangles, which punctuates the endless chatter of women who flood the many shops.

Lac bangle making is an art, as old as the establishment of Jaipur city. The king of Amer summoned the most initial craftsmen from the Manoharpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Once the capital city was instituted, these Manihar craftsmen also shifted their vocational base from Amer to Jaipur. The lane is dotted with countless bangle selling shops mostly managed by the muslim Manihari women while their men are away at the kilns and furnaces melting and preparing the raw-material.

The antiquity of this natural resin goes as back as the vedas, where the Laksha taru (or Palas) in Sanskrit, or the Lac tree has been mentioned. In the Atharva Veda, there is a small chapter devoted to the description of Lac insect, its habits and usefulness. The story of the notorious Lac palace built by the Kauravas in a plot to eliminate the Pandavas, in an episode from the 3000-year-old Mahabharata epic sheds more light on the history of this material.

Crimson red, plant sucking, tiny insects such as Laccifer lacca, Carteria lacca and Tachardia lacca colonize the branches of selected species of host trees and secrete a natural scarlet resin known as Lac. Later the different layers of resin residue on the coated branches of the host trees are scraped off as long sticks known as sticklac, crushed, sieved and washed several times to remove impurities till it shows up in natural red color. This Lac, acquired from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh is further heated to settle down the impurities and get the best of it floating on the surface. To this molten Lac, which is originally brick red in color, the bangle makers further add wax (beroza) to increase the cohesiveness, titanium (Ghea pathar) to increase the volume and coloring agents. Generally the quantity of talc varies from 5% to 95% and is highly instrumental in determining the quality of the Lac bangles.

The process of obtaining Lac is carried out in large mud kilns. Semisolid Lac is placed on the hot metal plate coated with a layer of oil, which prevents it from sticking to the plate. This semisolid dough is then rolled into poles, and once dry these poles are sent away to the women who run the shops within the city. The ladies generally manage with a singular stove with a metal plate on top and simple hand made wooden batons and tweezers from within the shop. Roller pins are used to flatten the length of the solid poles and draw sheets out of the chunk. Slender strips are then creased and cropped out of the flat sheet of lacquer and rolled into a bangle like shape.

The dimensions of these bangles are adjusted by mild heating on the stove and gentle molding over wooden batons of varying diameters. The beauty of these bangles emerges from the fact that the manihari women create custom made accessories for their clientele by adjusting the bangle to the desired size and ornamenting them with the preferred beads, stones, crystals and other embellishments fancied by the she patrons visiting the store. It is interesting to observe the Lac bangles once broken, can easily be rejoined by mild heating and tender fabrication over the wooden mould. Since repeated heating eliminates moisture and makes lacquer brittle, the process of breaking and rejoining has a limit of 8 to 10 times only.

The Rajasthani rituals are known to require specific traditional ornamentations and different festivals seek different ensembles. Hence the sale of these bangles surges during local celebrations such as teej, the marwari festival of gangaur, karva chauth, holi, weddings and special ceremonies for the mothers-to-be. In fact, each celebration can be identified with a distinct style of bangle design. For instance, a wedding in the family calls for the “gulali choodha” or the red colored bangle or the “hare bandon ka choodha”, the green colored bangle. Pink colored bangles are worn exclusively during holi. Besides bangles, rings, toe rings (bichchua), anklets (payal), nose rings, neck pieces, Bala, Bajuband, Rakhi, Gajra, Gokhru, Timaniyan and ‘maathe ka tika’ make prized selections for the visiting female clientele.

Deforestation has immensely affected the Lac reserves of our country resulting in escalation of the raw material cost. But little do people realize this fact and continue to expect their lacquer ware at ancient prices. A mute witness to this change are the statistics which reveal that the number of furnaces for Lac processing have reduced to 200-250, from a staggering 1500 that existed twenty-five years ago. The odd circumstances have been an important reason for the craftsmen to shift to alternate vocations.

Otherwise a government schoolteacher, Takhyyoul Sultana, lets her warm and entertaining self out, as she welcomes the chattering overtones of myriad of women in her bangle mart. Here ladies from all walks of life spend endless hours choosing their preferred accessory from the plethora of options, discussing daily narratives over numerous cups of tea and eventually bonding over bangles. It is evident that from avenues like these, emerges a scent of social culture that quietly maneuvers along these busy lanes to get mixed with other local flavors only to get absorbed by our collective memory.

Originally appeared on: 

10 Looks that rocked Paris Men’s Fashion Week

This post is a re-blog of what appeared on

Looks That Rocked Paris Men’s Fashion Week

Wrapping up the Men’s Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer 2014 last week, Paris was home to almost 40 celebrated designers that displayed a palette, quite extraordinary!

While the black and white hues continue to dominate the runway, shades of blue and red were not far behind. Amidst the sea of trends, the standout trend was oversized military jackets mixed with shorts that married structures with sophistication, keeping the style intact. However, that was not the only look that caught our eye. MensXP gives you the lowdown on the 10 best looks that we think were rather spectacular!

1) Valentino

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Valentino

Image Credit: frontrowsuit (dot) com

The house that started the Paris Men’s Fashion Week was Valentino is all sophistication displaying rich splendour with modern spirit. The collection also showcased effortless harmony between contrasting colours such as blue, bottle green and burgundy. Denim suits, army inspired fabrics, khaki drill and printed cardigans- all finished with a spectacular dose of evening wear. A full spectrum of uniform options for men!

2) Louis Vuitton

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Louis Vuitton

Image Credit: businessoffashion (dot) com

LV had an array of plaids going on, along with a line of suits accessorised with boutonnieres that made the models look prom-ready! The boy-scot inspired patches and jackets also suggested a strong formal but edgier bent–a tribute to ‘hippies, idols and forest rangers’. Jersey blazers, loud checked suits, jackets in fascinating patterns, and classic black dinner coats embodied with trademark LV monogram were some of the other best looks.

3) Thom Browne

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Thom Browne

Image Credit: esquire (dot) com

Thom Browne was the one to showcase military inspired attires that had models decked out like officers and captains, with long vinyl jackets and flaring skirts, mirrored sunglasses wearing toy soldiers and bold red lipstick. The expertly tailored general’s jacket with emphasis on silver buttons running in a row down the sleeves commanded respect. And though the silhouettes were slightly feminine, the strong masculinity of the tailored outwears was hard to miss. Unconventional and out of the box!

4) John Galliano

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - John Galliano

Image Credit: examiner (dot) com

Layers, zippers, panels, peter-pan collars and bright colours is what defined John Galliano’s collection at Men’s Fashion Week. Models were seen walking on the ramp in oversize tops and jackets in eye-catching colours such as yellow, coral pink, royal blue and polkas with black to create a polka-dotted theme; but the most stand out design was the tyre-print on grey coats–perfect for those breezy days!

5) Dior Homme


Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Dior Homme

Image Credit: fashion (dot) telegraph (dot) co (dot) uk

Burgandy, black and petrol blue was the colour statement of menswear designer Kris Van Assche, who made his models work through a maze of mirrors wearing a hybrid of classically formal tailoring and contemporary informal wear. Armless elongated jackets in tones of Bordeaux worn with shorts, zip-fronted short sleeve shirts in satin, neoprene T-shirts and patched pocketed work jackets were some of the best looks from the collection.

6) Paul Smith

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Paul Smith

Image Credit: fashion (dot) telegraph (dot) co (dot) uk

Paul Smith used mushroom prints and psychedelic colours to go back to the 70s in light hued of pinks. One of the most striking look from the collection was a fuchsia coat with a silver zipper running down the chest. Jacquard T-shirts with black and white coats featuring some eclectic colours made for another interesting mix of attires.

7) Yves Saint Laurent

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Yves Saint Laurent

Image Credit: goodtimes (dot) ndtv (dot) com

Saint Laurent closed this extravagant Fashion Week with its much awaited collection which was set against a backdrop of a rock-themed ramp had lean models in an army green cotton parka, leather jackets with patchwork, simple waistcoats and of course, the fancy Fifties varsity jackets in satin with crystal embroideries on the back to add to the mood. Apt for the ultra modern men!

8) Raf Simons

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Raf Simons

Image Credit: esquire

Never the one to disappoint, Raf Simons started with a cleverly concealed short-sleeve, mid thigh-length, collared, buttoned romper- yes!!! Romper for guys, and we were blown at that instant! Smart blazers with short lapels, elongated polo shirts, pop art inspired tees and collectible sneakers- the designer definitely nailed it and how!

9) Lanvin

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Lanvin

Image Credit: businessoffashion (dot) com

Men’s fashion bared its legs with shrunk shorts at Lanvin’s collection. Teaming those shorts with tailored and casual jackets, blouses and shirts-worn with narrow neckties, the couture is tailor made for office going contemporary urban male.

10) Hermes

Paris Men’s Fashion Week - Hermes

Image Credit: businessoffashion (dot) com

At the Hermes, Veronique Nichanian set out to create a boho kitsch appeal with a very subdued allure to her collection. With roped sandals and slippers, the designer’s men walked in aqua marine serge suit, tie-print trousers, crumpled linen boat neck tops and even cotton boiler suits- which is very unlike of Hermes. Basic garments giving an appeal of luxury wear- we certainly heart!