Meet the JINA dress.
The 1970s was a significant decade for the history of the South Asian diaspora. They are years that many of our ancestors, elders, parents landed into the global north to begin new lives.
What travelled with them were a certain style of saree, from their embroideries, to textile, these sarees are totally unmistakable. Looking back into the collection of these sarees that we had in our atelier, the time emerged to tell their stories.
The story that we tell casts our minds to the 70s, where this dapper man and woman sit with so much swag. They are my grandparents, if you follow our work you know they feature more often than not.
I have a collection of items that my Bapuji, maternal grandfather, Prabhubhai Jina Tailor, handmade for his daughters. What has always stood out to me, in all the styles, whether it was a dress, suit or saree blouse was the detail. The detail in the finishes.
He was a designer in his own right, as I look into the archives of those sleeves, those ruffles, trims and gathers… there wasn’t a detail left behind and in fact the signature you can see over everything is what unifies his stamp of artisan tailoring.
One dress in particular always stood out- the colours, the fabric, the trims, it always took a special place in the wardrobe, brought out often, spoken about and then hung back into the wardrobe.
It’s a dress made especially for his daughter, my Masi (aunt). It was a dress for her 18th Birthday. Since the way of life meant that items were always handed down, the dress ended up travelling with my Mother to Canada where I was born. The dress carried a lot of significance in that, it created awe in my eyes. One for my Masi’s, who’s special dress this was, and two that my Bapuji had made.
To this day, when I look at that dress, my inner child, the one standing looking up at this gorgeous dress, in absolute wonder is always present. For me that dress held vision, creation, and the future.
A future that I lived and worked into, the craft that keeps on developing and energetically connecting. It’s through my hands that he works, and through his hands I worked… Everything interconnected into this lineage’s craft.
So here is where the JINA dress lands in the house. It’s a style to give life to those 70’s saree’s, and stop them from falling away from our families, heritage leaving such a significant time for our identities in the darkness of storage.
There is so much more to say about that time, the saree’s themselves, but we will continue to explore as we share the joy of JINA joining us.
From India, to Africa, to London and Canada…
A textile that travelled through all these places is one we are going to bring to life, and use it’s uniquely crafted characteristics to our advantage for the sustainability of our planet, and the heritage of our people.
The JINA dresses are available exclusively to rent on By Rotation, and you can have your very own crafted for you, follow through to here where you can purchase your size, and send us your saree that will return to you as your very own JINA.