New York designer Soham Dave was born in India in 1979. During his childhood in the small town of Gujarat he would stand for hours and observe his family tailors while they worked, so rather than pursue engineering (his first degree), Dave joined his family's fashion house in 2003. He then enrolled in NIFT (and later FIT) and soon found his niche while working at SEWA TFC, a company working with marginalized artisans. There, he explored traditional Indian skills including hand embroidery, hand block printing and hand weaving, and creatively applied them to creating contemporary silhouettes. Like this Ajrak printed 100% silk long halter dress. Ajrak printing is done by hand with hand carved wooden blocks in all natural dyes. Fully lined with 100% natural indigo-dyed cotton. All trims are natural indigo-dyed silk.
During his time with SEWA, Dave worked very closely with the artisans and focused on eco friendly techniques and natural dyes. Dave tells us he is "amazed how artisans creates the beautiful fabrics without any chemicals and even with no need of electricity." Soham Dave dedicates himself to keep the traditional skills alive and refine the artisan's work and create modern looks where they can compete in today's market. Like this 100% silk bandhani dress in natural indigo dyes. A very intricate bandhani art is applied on 100 % silk fabric. The art of Bandhani is highly skilled process. The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is hand tied tightly with a thread at several points. A meter length of cloth can have millions of tiny knots known as "Bheendi" in the local language. It takes around ten days for an artisan to tie this dress. The garment stretches and fits perfectly every time you wear it and slowly gets its natural shape over time.
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