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Conscious Style: What Inspires Us?

August 21, 2016

Conscious Style: What Inspires Us?

Mehera Shaw Summer Style

What inspires our aesthetic?  At Mehera Shaw we talk about a quality called shakti.  In India, where we work and live, shakti refers to what is sometimes called “the feminine principle”.  There is no God in India who does not have a corresponding Goddess, his shakti.  Without his Goddess, he would be helpless, because in Indian thought, it is the feminine principle that moves.  Without that movement, the masculine principle would remain detached from creation.

Some of you, who are up on your Hindu mythology, will object at this point, “What about the dance of Shiva?  That famous image?  He’s dancing the dance of creation.  He’s moving, because he’s dancing.”  To which a Hindu sage would point out, “Yes, but he is dancing within a ring of fire, and that ring of fire is his shakti, the manifestation of the Goddess.  The dance itself is shakti.”

I collect antique silver amulets here, and it was explained to me years ago that most of the amulets are made in a shape that represents the Goddess, whether the image on the piece is of a male or female form.  Because all manifestation of divine force in creation are ultimately feminine.

If you look at a lot of Hindu icons, as I do, you come to appreciate the fact that the masculine deities are depicted individually in very restricted poses, and they are very easy to identify.  You can name them right off the bat.

But when you are looking at Goddess images, it is very different.  This one is standing on a shell, that one has a musical instrument, another has a spoon, another is divided in three and is dancing, then there is the one where she is seven, with a male consort, on, and on, and on.  And you ask, “Who is this?”, and if you are asking a man, he will shrug helplessly and answer, “Devi.”  The Goddess.  Because they are all her in different manifestations.  Different forms.  Ask a woman around here, and she will tell you in detail, “That is So and So, she helps, with childbirth.  That is So and So, she protects the house.  That other one drives away nightmares from small children.”

So when we say our clothes are “feminine”, we don’t mean anything like “frilly”, “cute”, or “girly”. We’re talking about shakti—feminine—in a timeless, universal sense.

And every woman, like the Goddess herself, moves through many stages and manifestations in the course of a day.  Ask a woman, “What do you do?” and you will get a very different response than if you ask the same question of a man.  The man will feel better about himself if he can answer in a single word:  “I’m a this or a that.”  A woman, at least in my own male-based observation, has a very different reaction.  If you ask a man what he does, he’ll tell you what he is paid to do.  If you ask a woman what she does, what she is paid to do is only one aspect of her life and daily activity; it isn’t the answer to what she does.

Women move.  They move through many stages in the course of a day, many manifestations of themselves, their shakti.    So there is little wonder that women, almost universally, are sensitive about their apparel, because they are moving in different ways, and expressing themselves in a multiplicity of forms.

So for Shari, as a designer, a woman, and a lover of clothes, a woman’s garments need to move through many stages, and should reflect  a deeper value to a woman than some marketing man’s catchphrase.  Her clothes should make her feel good, look good, reflect her personality, and be adaptable.

And the clothes should last.  Throwaway clothes are not feminine.  Saying this, I might suggest that most current fashion is not feminine, since it goes against one of the fundamental feminine principles—to conserve, retain, and pass on.  And having said this, I might add that we don’t feel all that comfortable using the word “fashion” at Mehera Shaw.  We tend to talk about our “aesthetic” instead, which isn’t meant to sound more elevated, but really meant to say that there is an intent behind our designs that has very little to do with being “current”, or “edgy”.

Our spring/summer collections are full of color and floral prints, often with Asian influences. 

The printing is all done by hand by traditional methods; block printing is a heritage craft indigenous to this region.  Block prints have life.  They have shakti.

Our garments are all made of natural fibers—for summer that means cotton, primarily, most of it organic.  Natural fibers have life, shakti.  Once you’ve become accustomed to natural fibers, it’s hard not to wear them.

Our spring/summer collection is comprised of skirts, dresses, legging, tunics, scarves.  Clothes that work as layered outfits, or as separates.  Clothes that will last, will recombine with new designs.  Clothes that are made for comfort, beauty, practicality, adaptability.

Clothes that move.

--from the desk of Mark Keller 




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Fit/Sizing/Care
FIT

Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.

 

SIZING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XS/ 36

S/ 38

M/40

L/ 42

XL/44

 

 

chest

35.5 inches/ 90 cm

37.5 inches/95 cm

39.5 inches/ 100 cm

41.5 inches/ 105 cm

44.5 inches. 113 cm

4cm extra from body

waist

26 inches/ 66 cm

28 inches/ 71 cm

30 inches/ 76 cm

32 inches/ 81 cm

35 inches/ 89 cm

fitted

 

low waist

28 inches/71 cm

30 inches/76 cm

32 inches/ 81 cm

34 inches/ 86 cm

37 inches/ 94 cm

fitted

 

hip

37 inches/ 94 cm

39 inches/ 99 cm

41 inches/ 104 cm

43 inches/ 109 cm

46 inches/ 1

4cm extra from body

 

 

WASHCARE

All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.