Monday, October 11, 2010

BB: Indian Costumes by Anamika Pathak

In Babbling Books, I'll discuss multicultural, costuming, and food books that I've found or read that you just have to get your hands on!

I was in New York City this weekend and had the good fortune to be wandering around Strand Books in St. Mark's. When I was about to move towards the art section, away from the special display tables, this caught my eye:

Had I ten dollars it would have been mine....

The first aspect is all of the gorgeous, crisp photography that captures all of the color and texture in the garments- I wanted to reach out and touch the silks and cottons so badly. The craftsmanship is evident in many of the photographs, down to blown up detail shots of the individual threads of the designs woven into the fabric. It was downright jawdropping. Painfully gorgeous. ....God I want a sari(ee).

The second commendable aspect is of course Pathak's scholarship, which is indisbutably thorough in its investigation from Harappan-Indus votive sculptures to 16th century tapestries to photographs both antique and modern. It really captures the living heritage of these garments and the people who wear them.


  1. You wouldn't happen to have an Amazon wishlist in case someone wanted to be a book enabler, would you?

    Just sayin'...

  2. I do indeed:

  3. Saris are plentiful in my neck of the woods (Toronto, Canada). SCA members use them to make 16th European costumes.

    But I wanted to share my Indian Steampunk experience with you:

  4. Get out here for a Steampunk Chicago/Clockwork Vaudeville event (when schedule permits) and Wendy, Karen or Kenzie can get you to Devon Ave., where you can touch all the sari fabric you want. And eat curry.

  5. I love Sarees and indian clothing. I by my saree on eBay: for about 30$, shipping included, you get 6 metres of gorgeously embroidered silk taffeta. I'm a little strapped for cash right now, but I have my eye on a gold and burgundy one right now. I want to make a bustle skirt out of it for a Victorian/Steampunk outfit.

  6. Thank you so much for your inspiations and re-assurance that I wasn't going mad for looking outside of victorian england!