Chan, Pret-a-Blogger

Une dame élégante

I really have a thing for older women, by that I mean their style.

It sometimes takes a while to develop your own style and as we grow older we tend to be more forgiving on ourselves and we accept ourselves for what we truly are. This is sometimes when what we wear becomes really interesting.

One lady that I have always admired is Lila Taybji. She is an Indian social worker, craft revivalist, art designer and the founder of Dastkar, a Delhi-based NGO, working for the revival of traditional crafts in India. She was honored by the Government of India in 2012 with the fourth–highest Indian civilian award of Padma Sri.

Laila Tyabji’s connection with design started right after her college days. After finishing her studies in fine arts from Japan, she came back to Delhi only to realize that it was not an easy going for a freelance designer in those days, mostly due to the lack of opportunities and resources in fashion, interior design, graphic design or even stage design industry. An assignment in Kutch (Gujarat) which related to hand craft, she says, changed her life forever. There she met rural artisans and understood their problems. This led her to set up Dastkar, to promote and revive the crafts of India. Today, it is synonymous with the Dasktar Mela, a crafts exhibition it organizes every year since 1982.

Laila often wears exquisite handwoven sarees and fabulous jewelry. People have a certain perception about handlooms and crafts and tend to think its for a certain type of people and its passé to wear them. But done right it looks very elegant and chic. There are some people who does this handcrafted look very elegantly and she is one. Her dress embodies her personality and her interests, its an extension of her not something apart. She looks smart and casual at the same time.  This is not exactly a very unique look, I have see a few other prominent people who has a similar style but there is a certain aplomb in the way Laila carries herself that I greatly admire. She is elegant and sexy too.  It is very unique to her and that’s what I love.

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19 thoughts on “Une dame élégante”

  1. Such a Legend this woman!! The way she coordinated the emporiums and just worked towards the handicraft industry is awesome. To watch her listen during my college days was an experience . Very Child-like enthusiasm, passion for her work, extremely inspiring. There is so much character in her individual style too. Adore her absolutely!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When I was very young…45 years ago…a woman in her late 30’s (she seemed so old! Ha, ha, ha) told me that the truly beautiful woman is the woman who ages beautifully. Young one, you inspire me that the youth of the world will carry on just beautifully…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “The truly beautiful woman is the woman who ages beautifully.”
      Young one, you inspire me that the youth of the world will carry on just beautifully …

      Beautifully said 🙂


  3. What an amazing woman ! Truely Anne had no idea that she was behind the Dastakar Mela !
    Living in India and so ignorant of its wealth ! That’s why I love your blog so so much … Muah …


  4. You’re right Chan. It’s not easy to carry off the handloom saree look. It can end up looking really contrived – sometimes even downright shabby.
    But Lila Tyabji is one who wears the style with enviable ease and elegance.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Her pioneering initiative into promoting rural craft & art itself is enough to keep her on that pedestal. Her personality & what she wears reflects her respect & appreciation of the work she promotes….with confidence & aplomb. That itself works immensely in showcasing the beauty & effect of rural artifacts.

    That jhola was a great statement.


  6. I pray we all age gracefully . I myself am a fan of cotton handwoven sarees and only wear sarees now ( wear shalwar kameez only at home but when socializing i prefer to wear sarees). I had handlooms of my own till 2010 and know what it feels like to work with people working on the handlooms and the artisans who have invested their whole life to this industry.


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