Tradition is an exclusively run line of women’s clothing designed by Simin Ghodstinat, at the vanguard of a revival movement in clothing design. Inspired by traditional shapes, the elegant and regal patterns representing the various styles along the ancient Silk Road and beyond, her pieces are impeccably cut and infused with a contemporary sense of colour or juxtaposed harmoniously with unexpected patterns. The results are beautiful, timeless, purposeful pieces, each one different from the other. She uses entirely natural fibres; hand woven wool, pure silk and exquisite antique textiles sourced from the deserts, plateaus and mountains of South Asia to make clothes and ensembles which are composed in a way that allows them to be worn in both eastern and western styles.
Design Philosophy : Unity in Diversity
Even though the famous axiom coined by Louis Stevenson through his observations of nature, “Form ever follows function” is thought of as the touchstone for modern design and architecture the concept has been in practice since ancient times and applied to all aspects of life. The ancients gained much of their wisdom through meditating on the creation of life and nature and sought to maintain man’s inherent balance with nature. They did not follow some forced sense of uniformity or globalisation. Instead, they allowed the diversity and plurality of cultures. Balance in their world was achieved by the counter-weighing principle of purposefulness and function which wove and converged the multitude of outlooks, lifestyles and traditions together and made their co-existence possible and even necessary. In the ancient and traditional order of life the myriad of different facets and aspects in any discipline was not contrived out of capriciousness but each facet was honed to respond to a particular purpose and to evolve as that purpose changed or grew. Every single detail followed a unified, elegant symmetry, structure and logic.
This harmonious correlation between form and purpose is mirrored in the rich and ancient history of textiles as well. Clothing was used to indicate rank and status. Designs were formed for practical purposes and social functions. Colours symbolised certain beliefs or were associated with events and stages of life. Thus yellow which represented the onset of spring, highlighted by the blossoming of marigolds and daffodils, came to symbolise enlightenment and sanctity and is hence seen in the mustard/rust robes of sages and mystics. Sometimes, a single concept manifested in two seemingly opposing extremities like white as the colour of purity which was traditionally worn by the young and innocent in the West, and which is the colour of death in the East. Or the modern style of assymetry which actually originates from tribal peoples who would recycle fabrics so even kilims of Iran were recycled when tribes had paucity of material. The modern version seems contrived because it is put together without purpose whereas the original style of asymmetry mixed material together whilst retaining a unified purpose. The idea of asymmetric style was to preserve, to avoid waste. Again, it followed a system, structure and logic.
It is this understanding and philosophy that we bring into our designs as a response to the social constraints of the fractured modern age in which we live and which, shapes our lives. Our world is ruthlessly defined and categorized into partitions. We live in perpetual restriction and are increasingly cut off from nature. Accessories and paraphernalia of our modern lives like wrist-watches, mobile phones, etc. join in with clothing accessories like hard-collars, neckties and cuffs restrain our movements and sequester our modes of communication, reinforcing the stress in modern life. Our pieces are each designed to reflect the person’s intrinsic harmony with nature. Just as sarees were designed to shape and drape in rhythm with a person’s body language, the beauty of our designs doesn’t only lie in the exquisite craftsmanship, or the timeless shape and elegant cut but is revealed in the flow of motion and as a frame to enhance the beauty of the wearer.