A Monk’s Blouse

I designed the blouse below for a friend who took her wows as a monk in a Hindu tradition. It just so happened that the order coincided with the time I was completing the Parsons x Teen VOGUE task of creating a blouse out of a yard of fabric:

mendrilla monk blouse 2.jpg

As a female monk, my friend wanted an all season upper body garment that she could wear with her traditional white sari as well as a skirt or pants. The garment needed to accompany a life of much traveling and little opportunity for daily washing/drying while remaining clean. It was to be a low maintenance, durable item and allow slight fluctuations in body shape.

Following the monk’s philosophy, the design needed to be made of a non-violent, natural cloth. The item was to inspire feelings of respect and be designed in a somewhat androgynous fashion.

I interviewed several female monks as to their habits in dressing and one of them expressed she would love to have a string in her blouse at the waist for easy adjustments.

Following my research, I chose to make the item in raw ‘peace’ silk, a durable, no-fuss cloth that, if not stained is considered to remain clean even after a week of wearing, if one simply leaves it to air.

This was my meditation while designing the blouse:





monks blouse moodboard 8.jpg

Photography credits: Lynzy Billing, Ananta Vrindavan, Wikimedia (Jubair 1985), Yamuna Devi (Autobiography)

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