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Old 10-14-2005, 10:42 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Cool duds from India (ladies only)

I got a neat catalog today, completely unbidden, from a company called Marketplace: Handwork of India. I didn’t even know about this place, which works with cooperatives in India to make women’s clothing, some of it extremely far out (but beautiful), others more normal from an American’s perspective.

Of the far-out pieces I really loved the Himalayan coat: reversible (patchwork prints to black/tan stripe), long, flowing, somewhat wide sleeves. Pockets. Dramatic. But I had to realize I would never wear it, so that was out. Now if we were still in the 1960s (and I in my 20s and in Berkeley or NYC ...), it would be another story.

There are also vests, blouses, dresses, pants, hats, scarves, housewares — all of incredible fabrics. A gorgeous reversible bedspread, nice tablecloths. India has a long tradition of dyeing, and many of the patterns are related to the various regions of the country.

I did order a Raj jacket, of which they have many colorations, all reversible. The one I ordered is magenta with blue/natural figured patches on one side, and a relatively tame tan/natural on the other. Pockets on both sides. Fastens with a tie.

And a Mysore jacket: black/purple hand-woven ikat (one of my favorite things in the world), reversing to teal solid with embroidery down one side. Button front; two pockets.

We shall see how they are when they arrive (in a week, the web site promises).

Icky web site — one of those ultra-Java places, with things sort of lurching about. Wouldn’t show at all in Firefox, but Opera worked.

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