AUGUST 10, 2013
Melanie and I fell in love with "Kurtas", traditional Nepali tunics in elaborate colors and embroidery. Each morning our sweet Nepali girls would walk in with their bright smiles that matched their vibrate attire. We soon found out they were designed and constructed by them! This definitely called for a design session, and a bonding session.
"Let's make Melanie a Kurta!!!" I said, and I started sketching in front of the girls and asked them as I sketch what they thought would look good on Melanie. They shyly smiled and allowed me to proceed with sketching. They gasped, laughed, giggled as I tried to portray Melanie on a sketch. I would stop and ask "does this look like her?" I remember Kristi saying to make her eyes bigger and blue, and we all laughed so hard as I drew Melanie with her signature sunglasses on, and we just kept laughing. Joy filled the room as they sat on the big cutting table around me, and that's the moment when they called me "Hindi," Nepali word for Big Sister, and when they asked me if they can be my "Didi" (little sisters). I accepted. That's the moment my heart open up and they came in to live and be part of my prayers forever.
After I finished sketching, I noticed a couple of the girls immediately started to draw. I was blown away from initiative. We took advantage of our spare time, and made it into Fashion Art session! I got fashion magazines, we learned about the women figure and proportions, we talked about fashion and I sang over them "Oh How He Loves You" . I taught them how to sketch a basic dress, but creativity came over all of them and they sketched up "dream dresses." Even Joey sketched! Joey wasn't part of the sewing team but a survivor who lived with Ramesh and his family. She loved to serve and cook, but today she created art.
The girls came back the next day with sketches upon sketches! I was amazed and moved, and they wanted to keep learning. Ramesh saw something bigger, and when we looked at each other and fell into a loud silence. A glimpse of the future. These weren't just our beautiful and sweet sewers but they will be the Fashion Designers of Nepal!
Already thinking about the fact I'm going back to New York soon. I want to return to Nepal and be part of having this vision come true: To grow Elegantees and have many sewers, but also to help in the birthing process of these amazingly talented girls!