STYLE | Wild Wedding Abandonment in Saaksha & Kinni


Two months ago, we celebrated my friend Hardeep's wedding to her long-term partner, Ernest. The wedding was a myriad of delicious assaults to the senses: spices, exotic foods, and music packed sensory punches; and then there were the ensembles. Hardeep is Indian Sikh, Ernest Ghanaian. Theirs was a love affair that battled tradition and culture, ending in two culturally diverse nations meeting in a walled garden in North London. 
Coming from a country that has a majority Indo/Indian-Guyanesse and Afro/African-Guyanese population, the dynamics between these two groups have been the basis of my social upbringing. Perhaps it is this understanding that led Hardeep & Ernest into asking me if I could officiate their wedding. I humbly accepted.

Prior to the honour being bestowed upon me, I had scoured the internet for an outfit that spoke towards the dress code that was underlined on the invitation: India meets Ghana. COLOURFUL! Our instructions were clear. I didn't want to go for an Indian or Ghanaian traditional outfit, as I already owned four saris (almost every Guyanese women, regardless of ethnicity, owns one), and would want my Ghanaian outfit to be made with original Kente and sewn by a seamstress I trust (obviously my Guyanese seamstress is my trusted couturière). Eventually, I stumbled across a cotton silk blend purple and orange jumpsuit with a long cape to match by SAAKSHI & KINNI, an unequivocal burst of colour and design which screamed wild abandonment and elegance. I immediately emailed them to ask: Who Made Your Clothes? This was their response:
Im so gad you asked us these questions, as we take pride in the way we make our clothes. 
Firstly our factory is in Thane, Mumbai, we would be happy for you to come and take a look at our unit any time :). 
We do not outsource any of our manufacturing outside, everything (including our micro pleating) is done by hand in our own unit. We have around 40 employees (male and female) from rural villages in India, whom we have helped relocate to the city.. We have also facilitated in many of them bringing their families to the city as well.
All our prints are our own designs (no prints are bought). All our embroidery is also done in house by hand to promote craftsmanship. Our fabrics are all made in india (we do not outsource fabrics from other countries). 
Lastly, all our employees are paid weekly wages and have been with us for many years. Having been been born and brought up in Manchester, UK - we adhere to international guidelines when it comes to safety, time frame and breaks for our staff and take pride in the same!
As we mentioned it would be our pleasure to have you visit and swing by :)

Although a wider discussion on fair pay, workplace safety, and how the brand supports its workers whilst highlighting their Made in India identity will take place in another post, there needed to be mention as to how I came across this brand and why they are being featured in a style post.

I wore the cape inside out when I discovered the black piping, which didn't go with the vibe of the evening (although I love the piping when I wear it with my black jeans). I thought the less decorated side would be more appropriate for the evening, and I think it worked out well. It is also important to note that the jumpsuit--an item that I have never worn prior, despite having bought one in at RACKED TT last year--had a loose fit. Unfortunately, with my boobs and hips, this cut did not lend well to showing off my figure in the best light, so I took it to a tailor who simply took in the waist. I paired the outfit with red coral earrings from BENECARIBE--a Trini/US based designer and Emma's red Balenciagas (we share our wardrobes as a way to expand our clothing repertoire and to cut down on buying).
Accompanying me in bold floral print was my Emzy (co-Founder of The Conscience Collective and Founder of TURTLE WARRIOR) who bought her fabric in a local fabric store in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and then had local conscious designer, Meiling, design her dress. She wore handmade shoes from Greece, bought off of Etsy, and a pair of All Things Mochi earrings. She was absolutely stunning.

As mentioned earlier, I was asked to be the officiant and when I Googled how an Officiant dressed (yes, I did that), I saw dark and unassuming outfits--an attempt to keep the focus on the couple, and not on the person officiating. Hence, I needed a second outfit; one that I already owned. I found a navy shift dress my mother bought for me when I was pregnant, an old sea foam/mint sari and a vintage pair of sea foam/mint Fendi mules. Done! 

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