Let’s family, friends, and short — and tall — acquaintances be unsurprised: I’ve never been given to fantasizing about my wedding — the people, the place, the gown.
More like the county judge, the courthouse, my jeans.
But then my eyes met Indigo Handloom hand-woven wraps, and — with one look at the bridal collection — my thoughts went like-a-virgin white: embossed invites, a chipper chapel, a tiered gown.
Or more like Flash-y evites, the Getty Museum, an unbridal dress.
I do, I do, Indigo Handloom!
But while I recount love at first sight, the first fires behind designer Smita Paul’s relationship with Indigo Handloom were more devastating than devastatingly romantic — in fact, the line sprung from a messy break-up.
Smita, working as a journalist at the time, jet-set to Africa to cover a story, and returned to her ransacked home. “Everything was gone, including three computers, camera equipment, everything,” says Smita. “I didn’t care about any of the ‘stuff.’ I was mostly horrified that my computer, where I’d stored all my writing, was gone.” Smita moved back to New York to restart her career, armed with her Palm Pilot. And then “fate entered the picture again,” says Smita. “I was riding my bike over Brooklyn Bridge with the Palm in my backpack, and out of nowhere a giant rain cloud cracked open and dumped a river on my head.” Smita cried a little, and recovered: she still had a celly full of 100+ numbers.
Until Smita loaned it to her mom… “And she left it on a park bench.”
“So at this point, I was really wondering if the universe was trying to tell me something. In fact, I felt like it was yelling in my ear. I resisted the idea that it was a ‘sign’ and still tried to get going,” which led to Smita writing about India’s silk industry, quickly inspiring her fine line of soiree saris.
“Beautiful textiles have always been a part of my life,” says Smita. “I always knew that one day, I’d take a break from journalism and pursue this other side of me.”
“Of course, that final break was somewhat dramatic.”
Somewhat? More like fantastically.