WWD Postcard: Designers Defrost in Warmer Climes

From Maui to India, designers check in with WWD.

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Designers took a vacation from snowy Seventh Avenue this winter and headed for hotter climes. Behnaz Sarafpour, Eddie Borgo and Yigal Azrouël check in.

Behnaz Sarafpour, India

My husband, Evan, and I landed in Mumbai late in the evening and headed straight to our hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel, one of Mumbai’s heritage landmarks, which is quite beautiful although still under renovation after last year’s terrorist attack.

The next morning, we visited the embroidery studios. I was surprised to find that this intricately delicate handwork is almost all done by men who spend all day working diligently over low-framed tables. We took a break in the afternoon for a late lunch on top of the Intercontinental Hotel to have our first taste of some local food.

In the evening we went to a traditional Indian wedding, which was held at one of Mumbai’s largest equestrian grounds. The event was on a very grand scale with a sea of Indian women dressed in opulently embroidered saris. I wore a white lace dress with yellow ribbons from my spring collection. Certainly India is a place where wearing color is the normal way of fitting in with the crowd. In fact, just when you think you may have on too much color or too much jewelry, you can put on one more piece.

The next day, I discovered a boutique called Bombay Electric. It was just a short walk from our hotel and had a fantastically well-edited selection of Indian-made ready-to-wear and accessories for men and women. They also offer made-to-measure pieces, which was a great treat. We ordered our very own custom shirts to be ready the following day.

Our day ended with a visit to the old “thieves market,” where most antique furniture stores are now located.

Early the following morning, we left for the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan where we spent four days at the beautiful Lake Palace, which was originally built by the Maharana of Udaipur as a summer residence. For me, it was especially fun to stay at the Lake Palace, as it was one of the main locations used to film “Octopussy,” one of my all-time favorite James Bond films.

From there we moved on to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan and also the jewelry center of India. We visited Gem Palace, an old family-run jeweler, which is more like a candy store than a jewelry store, and a sari shop, where I was fitted for my own sari. After deliberating over fabrics for three hours, I decided on an embroidered white sari and a blue one with elaborate silver embroidery.

Our trip would not be complete without an elephant ride, which we did on the last day in Jaipur, followed by a lovely lunch of very spicy Indian food and a game of elephant polo!

Editor’s Note: Designer Behnaz Sarafpour just returned to New York after spending more than a week in India.

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