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Croatian fashion designer explores Hindu tradition

place: USA
A Croatian fashion designer based in the USA is studying ancient Hindu civilizations in preparation for her next line.

Mandali Mendrilla, 32, is planning a neo-Vedic-style clothing line in her atelier collection in collaboration with renowned Vaishnava theologian Dr. Kenneth Valpey and the blessings of acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.

Before formally launching the line, she plans to do extensive research into Vedic ceremonies, ancient temple reliefs and art inspired by the Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Bharhut and Sanchi reliefs, Harappan culture (around 3300 BCE), the Mauryan dynasty (322 to 185 BCE), Vratyas, Banabhatta’s (seventh century) and Harshacharita to come up with exquisite designs fused with aspects of Croatian regional dressmaking and the well-known Italian sense of style.

Mandali is currently doing research on the rectangular jackets and short, pleated dhotis worn by Mauryan warriors, designs based on Kusa grass skirts worn by ladies during Vedic ceremonies, turbans for both sexes based on Harappan culture and black and pointed Vratya shoe styles.

Mandali says: "The energy, wisdom and dignity of Vedic India has always intrigued me, and its fabulous sense of style is a classic that has survived the ages in traces. Inspired by well- known, traditional Vedic sculptor/painter Drdha Monge, I went on a quest to explore and rediscover ancient Indian dressing codes and artistic rules governing traditional Indian dress down through the ages, as well as ways to blend those with the ways of the modern world.

"Rajan Zed’s constant attempts to reach across lines of difference through prayer gives me great inspiration in fusion clothing", Mandali adds. She has been exploring Vedic tradition and Bhakti Yoga under the mentorship of Dr. Valpey, which resulted in consulting him for her next line.

Internationally renowned stylist, designer and artist Mandali Mendrilla finds inspiration in the living installation called world and its abundance of moods, characteristics, relationships and actions over time. She thinks humans can use clothes to help communicate, explore, enhance and discover their inner selves rather than consider dressing an external act of duty. She has already exhibited her work in Italy, Croatia, the USA, and India and is planning to take her shows to Japan and United Kingdom, in addition to Croatia, Italy, and India, this year.

Dr. Valpey, a Vaishnava theologian and an expert on Indian cultural and religious traditions, is a Fellow at the prestigious Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in the United Kingdom.

Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has recited the first Hindu opening prayer in the US Senate in Washington, DC. He was recently given a "World Interfaith Leader Award". He is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. Inspired by his prayer in the US Senate, Mendrilla dedicated a line of designer shirts from her latest atelier collection to him.

(Source: Croatian Times)


(D.H., 19.03.2009)