Introduction

(PHOTO: A PAGE FROM MANDALI MENDRILLA’S MOOD BOARD ‘GIRL AND GLASS’, 2015, INSPIRED BY THE WORK OF DUTCH ARTIST BERT VAN LOO)

I started this diary inspired by Parisian couturier Christian Dior’s autobiography called “Dior by Dior”.

In the Prologue, Monsieur Dior talks of “The Two Christian Diors”, and explains that he is writing in order to tell the truth about the couturier of Maison Christian Dior, as he had been the subject of “quite enough inaccurate discussion already”.

I too feel there are two Mandali Mendrillas.

There is the childlike aquarian, a perpetual dreamer who meditates, and who was born as Maja, in Rijeka, Croatia, in the seventies, to a very young couple of elementary school sweethearts, who had Maja (named by her grandmother) when they just entered their twenties. They madly loved each other and enjoyed nature, art, photography, reading endless rows of books, and spent many long months apart because Maja’s father loved sailing the seas as well.

When she gained more insight into living on this planet and the body she inhabits, Maja was named “Mandali” by her meditation teacher, as ‘the one who resides in the mandala (circle)’.

Mandali’s mother loved great clothing meticulously made to order, and there lies the seed to the second Mandali Mendrilla, the designer of sculpture dresses and creative director of the eponymous fashion label. That Mandali travels the world creating art projects and conscious clothing meant to inspire those who wish to live in a beautiful world.

I do enjoy the inevitable aura of mystery about artists and designers, which I believe the world needs in order to feel part of a magical reality beyond that which is visible to the eye and accessible to the rational mind, and which creates the second personality of Mandali Mendrilla, who, I feel, at this moment, has slightly grown beyond the original one.

I would like to attempt, with this diary of mine, to bring a bit of guidance into the thoughts of those who view and participate in my work, of which the personality of the second Mandali Mendrilla is a part, explaining what lies at the core of the inspiration that creates it.

My work is created in such a way as to invite personal interpretation and participation in its meaning, as a way to support individuality and freedom, and therefore I refrain on insisting that only a certain meaning is attributed to any particular piece of my work. Yet, I enjoy having this opportunity to share and participate in its meaning with written thoughts and images.

I welcome you into my mandala.

– Mandali

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