To make this collection, our founder Allie Dietzek traveled to Pushkar, India where she worked with cutting master Bunty K and his workshop of four tailors.
We had four styles, or "cuts," which served as inspiration for the collection, but made some important changes to make the styles even more functional and fashionable.
To choose our prints, we visited an enormous home on the outskirts of Pushkar where Allie sorted through thousands of reclaimed sarees. A saree is a women's garment from India that consists of one piece of fabric varying from fifteen to twenty-seven feet in length and two to four feet in width that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff. It's one piece of material, usually silk. Since each saree is so large, when sarees aren't bought in stores they are shipped all over india to be scavenged, cut up and transformed into every kind of garment you can imagine. It was important to us at reign_wala that we use these reclaimed sarees instead of shopping from brand new rolls of fabric. (Because, the environment.)
We chose 100 sarees and brought them back to the workshop. From there, we determined which sarees would be kimonos and which would become trousers.
Did you know sarees are not printed symmetrically? There's a dominant print which covers most of the saree. Then there's a "down border" on only one end, which is usually a different but complementary print and covers about 20% of the saree. And then there's a perimeter border. Each saree can yield 1-2 pieces but because of the way the different parts of the saree must be cut in order to make trousers and kimonos, it is impossible to make two pieces that are identical. So what did we do? We took our 100 reclaimed sarees and turned them into 184 unique pieces of clothing. As in, of 184 pieces, NO two are the same!
This 184-piece collection boasts four styles:
1. The ZOONI trouser: a wide-leg, ankle-length trouser with a fitted waist panel in the front and elastic waistband in the back
2. The TRACK ME DOWN trouser: a relaxed-fit trouser, featuring a fitted waist panel in the front, elastic waistband in the back, ruching and pockets at the hips, and ruching at the ankles.
3. The GOOD KARMA kimono: a show-stopping, ankle-length kimono with roomy 3/4 sleeves. It is the outfit.
4. The BALCONY, PLEASE kimono: a mid-thigh-length kimono with roomy sleeves that fall just below the elbow. Perfect with denim or over a bathing suit.
All styles are free size, meaning they come in one size designed to fit a broad range of shapes and sizes.
These silk pieces are incredibly easy to wear. Dress them up for a professional environment by adding heels or a half-tucked button-down. Dress them down for the beach with a bathing suit. Rock them around the city or the burbs with a tee and sneakers. Thoughtful details (like the materials and length) make them both beautiful and practical – they're sexy but modest, they won't drag on the floor, and the fast-drying silk makes them just as perfect for running out in the rain as they are for tropical environments.
Check out our Instagram Highlights for footage from the #makingof this collection.
Our Silk collection is not available online. To shop, visit one of our pop-ups or DM/email us to make a personal appointment and we'll bring the shop to you (Northeast USA only).
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