Ethnic patterns – how did a dress inspire my designs?

Ethnic patterns: I remember it vividly – being a chubby 8 year old who didn’t really fit into many clothes made for children of my age – so finding something that not only fitted but made me feel good was like hitting the jackpot.

A paisley dress

The dress was a mix of purples and blues with a bit of white. I still to this day do not know where my mother got it from. Fitted around the chest with a pretty yolk and long sleeves, from there it just floated out; perfect to cover my pre-pubescent lumps and bumps. It was made of cheesecloth paisley pattern complete with little gold bells on the yolk ties.

This was the dress that started my love of ethnic patterns. I adored it and wore it whenever I could but never to school as I did not want to get it ruined. My primary school didn’t have a uniform which was kind of cool, as an adult I think this was a throw back to the 1960/70’s trend for allowing children to have some freedom.

 A love of ethnic patterns

That dress was the beginning of a love affair with all things ethnic that has stayed with me all of my life. The cultural diversity that surrounded me at primary school served as artistic inspiration, not only that but it gave me the gifts of tolerance, understanding and inclusiveness. My parents also played a part in this by being so kind and welcoming of my friends from other cultural backgrounds and I am immensely proud of them for that.

To me, the colours, vibrancy, patterns and symbolism of ethnic patterned clothing and jewellery are some of the most inspiring and energizing to be found. This is why you will find this in many of my jewellery designs for Eliziain Elements incorporate ethnic patterns. I hope one day I can travel to India and gain further inspiration and insight. For now I am content with bringing that inspiration and joy to you via my designs and hope that you enjoy wearing them as much as I enjoy making them.

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