Parigna Desai is the founder of brand Pari Pari, a Mumbai based textile studio. We chatted with Parigna and learnt about her inspirations, creative processes and goals. Pari Pari has a collection of scarves that speak with nostalgic colours and textures. Find the collection on IN-D here.
Image: Scarves from Pari Pari see more here
I : Tell us about your journey and how it led you to create the brand Pari Pari.
P : It all started during my senior year at Parsons. I started creating a lot of the textiles that I was using for my final collection. I used to spend hours - knit and embroider; that's when I realised I am inclined more towards textile design than I am towards clothing. After graduating, I took up jobs and internships which allowed me to explore textile design. I soon started realising that a lot of the players in the industry relied on India for production.
This almost made me feel violated because I felt there is so much skill in India that nobody talks about. It is one of those things that is prevalent but in the shadows. This led me to come back to India and explore the industry first-hand before starting something of my own. Once I wrapped myself around the industry and workings in India, I decided to start my own textile studio - Pari Pari.
I : What does your Pari Pari mean? What does it stand for as a brand?
P : Pari comes from my name. Pari Pari stands for a combination of things, a space beyond consumerism. I want it to be a place for education, information and transparency. I want it to spark conversations about consumer education and consumerism - about how many things we want and need.
I : What is your focus at Pari Pari?
P : My focus is visual language, in the way that traditional Indian techniques are represented. I am interested in creating a shift from traditional motifs and traditional identities. For my current collection of scarves - while I have used digital print, I explored block printing as an option. This in-depth exploration of technique allowed me to acknowledge the limitations of traditional techniques beyond glorifying them, and henceforth keep these in mind while designing.
Image: Ieena Scarf in Rust
I : What is your biggest inspiration?
P : Nostalgia - my first collection of scarves - 42 Nutan, is my grandmother's address. I grew up in her house - and my inspirations come from walking down memory lane. Memories of her garden, her textiles and embroidery work - and five year old me running around in her house. The white was never white. The red swing always meant more. The collection is drawn from her memories and put back together with Sol Lewitt's method.
I : How do you translate your inspiration into your products?
P: For me, the design process is tactile and includes me working with my hands. It starts with my thoughts being translated into sketches. I imagine what words make me feel and my forms come from there. I also have a make-shift loom which I use to experiment handwoven patterns with.
I : What materials do you use?
P : The scarves are of two kinds - one is pure silk and the longer one is cotton silk. They are digitally printed locally.
Image: Afeem Scarf in Ink
I : Who is your ideal audience?
P : One of the things I like about scarves is that they give you the ability to let you express yourself. It is like having a blank canvas and you can do whatever with it. Anybody who wants to express themselves, scarves are from them.
I : What journey do you want your products to take?
P : I want to work on making the product more home oriented - step away from fashion fashion. My choice of scarves was made because it justified the designs and created a whole visual. I want my products to be focused on textile and material design, and have applications in different sectors beyond fashion.
I : What are your goals for Pari Pari?
P : Eventually to create an incubator space to enable artisans and designers alike, where I can encourage a free flow of information and creativity. I want it to be an active textile studio surrounded by dialogue and dignity.
I : And lastly, what does 'independent' mean to you?
P : Independent to me is living life on your terms. There are a lot of social constructs around us and I am not that comfortable with them. Independence to me is having the ability to make your own decisions and support yourself. Even if you are dependent, you should still have power and not be at the mercy of somebody else.
See Pari Pari's collection on IN-D here!