Sunday, February 14, 2010
Pink Lady Goes East
Well, it has finally happened. After more than 2 years of planning it, waiting for it, Pink Lady has finally moved to Asia. To Bangalore, India to be more precise. The Hubby will join in a few days.
Since I will be working here, I wanted to buy some local-style, business-appropriate clothes. Frankly, I felt very underdressed here in my Western clothes. All those Indian beauties in their sarees and salwar kameez…well, they just all look so feminine. And so colourful. I just see one gorgeous outfit after another everywhere I look.
Even before I got here, I had already decided I wanted to wear local-style clothes. I come from the “When in Rome….”. school of traveller/expat. I already started eating with my right hand. Actually, I’m left-handed and have trouble eating with a fork using my left hand – but no problems at all using my right hand to eat. Yep, I just get my fingers right in that mushy rice with the sauce mixed in. I do have serious issues with tearing off pieces of naan bread using just one hand, but I’m convinced it’s just a question of practice.
So back to the story about clothes. You do know that Pink Lady is nuts over clothes right? I adore fashion. I love the touch of luxurious fabrics: silk, cashmere...simply the stuff dreams are made of. So when the taxi driver I had hired for the day insisted on taking me to this silk shop he knew, I did not complain. I did not realize how life-changing this experience would be, however. I may never wear ready-made clothes again!
My taylor (as he's now known) showed me the most amazing, delicious, delectable hand-woven Bangalore silks. I did not need to doubt the quality for even a millisecond. Just touching the fabric was like stroking the side of a cloud. And the colours! It took a long time to select my two fabrics (see picture). He then very modestly and apologetically took my measurements (highly appreciated) and promised to deliver the two outfits to my hotel already the same evening. I was also quite impressed by the fact that the shop-owner came personally to deliver the clothing, lovingly wrapped up in paper.
For those not familiar with Asian clothing, a salwar kameez is the “three-piece suit” of Indian women, consisting of a baggy pair of trousers (a bit harem pant-like), a tunic and a long pashmina-style scarf. Speaking of the scarf, I’ll need to consult some local woman about how to wear the thing...I’m somehow not able to wrap it around elegantly the way the locals do, mine just hangs there like a dead animal.
So the clothes were delivered to my hotel. I unwrapped the lovely parcels, photographed the outfits of course, and prompty decided I was too sweaty to try them on. I had to shower before attempting it. The clothes seemed so precious to me immediately. After my shower, I put on the one on the left: oh the heavenly luxury of the silk on my skin! And the fit of taylor-made clothing! As I said earlier, I may never wear off-the-rack clothing again. I would rather own one outfit like this than 50 uncomfortable, constricting, itchy, off-the-rack Western outfits. Believe me, you don't know what comfort is until you've tried on one of these babies. The salwar kameez really takes into consideration how a woman’s body works. We are, for example, prone to bloating in the abdominal region (especially after the absolutely amazing food here), which is why it’s so wonderful that the pants are of the drawstring variety. I could probably be pregnant and still wear the same ones. They are not meant to be tight, not meant to be constricting. And yet wearing the 3-piece combo, I feel perhaps more feminine than I’ve ever felt before. I’ve obviously already decided to go back and have more clothes made next week. What seemed expensive at first now seems like the best deal ever.
As mentioned, my husband is not yet here in India with me. So I am spending this Valentine’s day alone. But hey, I’m sure having a wonderful love affair with my new silk outfits in the meantime! And don’t even get me started on the local jewelry...
Happy Valentines Day 'ya all!
Lots of love,
P.S. My next salwar kameez will be, you guessed it, pink!