What you're looking at.
2010 is my year of research, the kind that involves travel, my favorite kind. I'm on an adventure, as my friend likes to remind me, in fashion, the fair trade kind. I whet my sartorial taste buds with a short stint working for Global Mamas, an NGO and fairtrade organization in Ghana. It was heaven, a very hot and sweet version. Now I've found myself in Cambodia, working for KeoK'jay, a social enterprise and clothing company that employs women with HIV. I've got some ideas, and this is the year to learn how to implement them, in Khmer. So follow along, and please, don't forget to put in your two cents; these days, we're all fashion critics.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Back on the blog with news. What was once born Bandini has now been rechristened Dipped and Dyed. For one, I thought Bandini referenced India a bit too explicitly and since we're working with artisans across Asia and hopefully in the future Africa, a more all-encompassing name seemed most appropriate. The other kink came with a recent sighting of "The Bandini Bra" on the US patent registry. Dipped and Dyed it is.
Hand painted, hand printed (as the Chartreuse number above), and hand woven.
Posted by Genny at 7:30 AM
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I recently bid adieu to Cambodia after a fantastic year working at KeoK'jay, teaching, writing, painting and printing, and traveling, did I mention that. As most exits, mine was swift and bittersweet: Phnom Penh is a fantastic city filled with truly remarkable people from all walks of life: wanderlusty holistic therapists, writers that seemed to have just stepped off the L train, arcordian playing, yamamoto-decked design geeks, and entrepreneurs with more energy and stamina than I could ever hope to sustain. And that's just the expats. I will miss the tuktuk and moto drivers who hung outside my home, the weavers at Goel, and the women at KeoK'jay who through unimaginable difficulty, managed to keep smiling. Thanks to everyone for a year, however cliché, I will certainly never forget.
Stayed tuned for Bandini news.
In the meantime, a few last Phnom Penh photo shoots. The regression to my 13-year old self is complete.
Posted by Genny at 12:31 PM
Monday, July 4, 2011
My best friend Jessie, taking a well-deserved vacation before she started her psychiatric residency at Harvard (ahem), recently came to visit me in Cambodia. Exhausted after a whirlwind trip home and and several long flights back, Jess and I mustered our last ounces of energy and headed down to Kampot from Phnom Penh to run a printing workshop at Epic Arts Café, a social enterprise linked to Epic Arts, a fantastic NGO that works with disabled Cambodians.
The workshop came about after a chance conversation with the Epic Arts director. I mentioned that I was looking for potential producers for my new clothing line Bandini, and she told me about a group of deaf women that had passed through the Epic Arts program but who needed additional vocational training. Neither of us was certain that the girls would be interested in textile production, or that they might be a good fit for Bandini, so I decided test the waters with a few free workshops. In the end I decided on three workshops that would each focus on different techniques: screen printing, shibori dying, and silk painting. If in the end I found that the set-up wouldn't work for Bandini, the girls would at least learn a few new skills and have some fun days making t-shirts and other hand-crafted goodies. Plus Ronise, the energetic and uber-cool manager of Epic Arts Café, has dreams of opening a small craft studio upstairs, and this was the perfect opportunity to get the ideas flowing and explore new techniques that could set the Epic Arts merchandise apart from other crafts co-ops.
The first workshop was a success. Jess helped me organize materials and get the ball rolling on day one. We began with one color stencil printing, using found objects and simple cut outs. After just an hour or so, the girls really caught on and began creating their own compositions. At the end of the day, I gave each of the participants watercolors and paper to bring home with instructions to return the next day with design ideas. Day two, we mixed colors and and began creating two color prints. Despite the double language barrier-- I don't know ISL, and even if I did, it wouldn't really help much, as Cambodia has its own unique dialect-- everything went relatively smoothly. In fact, when I returned to Kampot a few weeks later while entertaining another group of visitors, I stopped by the café and was met repeatedly with this question: When are you coming back?
I'm hosting the next workshop tomorrow. We'll be covering Shibori dying. I'm hoping the girls will be as excited as they were at the printing workshop. Who doesn't love a little tie and dye?
Posted by Genny at 7:56 PM