Travels around India in December 2010

Every year I make a production visit to India to spend some time with our team in Ahmedabad, work on new designs and source new fabrics. It’s also a great opportunity to travel a bit and be open to new ideas and inspirations. India is a country of dramatic contrasts, rich and poor, harmonious and jarring, sublime and visceral, it has it all in super abundance. Last December I made a trip to the south of India, from Chennai in Tamil Nadu, southwards down the coast and then across the Western Ghats and up the western coast to Goa. India is incredibly diverse, encompassing very different geographical regions, religions and peoples. I wanted to share some pictures of the trip and hopefully encourage anyone who has been thinking about a visit to go for it - the Indian tourist board calls it ‘Incredible India’ for good reason.

Not much feels moderate in India; colors are bright, flavors intense, monsoons wet and smiles bright and open. With a history full of the rise and fall of cities, states and empires married to the continuity of religious practice and social convention, people live in a present rich with reference. Devotees worship in temples in the same way as their ancestors have done over centuries and fishermen on the coast of Tamil Nadu speak much the same language that Greek traders heard over two thousand years ago.

For nature lovers India has a vast amount to offer too with breathtaking scenery, lush flora and many wildlife sanctuaries to visit. Here is an insider tip - I spent a few days at the Mojo Plantation Rainforest Retreat in the hill country of southern Karnataka, which is an organic plantation growing cardamom, pepper, vanilla and coffee that also offers accommodation to guests. I thoroughly recommend a visit. They also ship their organic produce internationally.