The recent Bollywood movie, Ram Leela has also popularised the style. The romantic story featured spectacular Rabari dance sequences that were filmed close to Bhuj, capturing the sureal natural beauty of the huge salt desert, The Great Rann of Kutch.
As Bhuj's local 'foriegner' shopping daily for Kutch's unique Indian handicrafts, I contstantly see young ladies, visitors here trying these jackets on in the vintage clothing shops, only to instantly take them off again! Not only are these jackets frequently very small, but the armhole , shoulder and narrow sleeves are intolerably uncomfortable! Because they are covered in hand embroidery, the complexity of altering them to fit is rarely considered. And mostly they are stained too....We're talking vintage tribal jackets here, from white cotton, in dusty Kutch, so of course, they are often not very clean!
I love a challenge! And after working at The Emergency Button in Sydney some years ago, I am good at devising alterations that don't compromise a great design.
I spent months, with Rabari Jackets, (or 'Kediya' as is the correct term) on my mind....thinking about how to solve their 'fit problem' Some folks put a big gussett under the arm, but it's not the soloution as the shoulder still doesn't fit, and all you get is a 'bumpfy' underarm....it's not a good look!
So now...I have developed a formula....It involves several alterations in fact, but completely fixes all the wearability issues of these stunning hand embroidered jackets, meaning western fashionists's like you and me can now wear them easily!
I love Rabari Kediya because each is so different! Different embroidery depending on the community the man that it was originaly made for came from; some have a simple design of embroidered squares, others are very complex with mirror work and gold embelishments....I sometimes even find them with the 'owners' name embroidered on them too, which I love!
They look great worn layered over jeans, cut off shorts, a dress or with a slim skirt.....after altering, I usually dye them to give a quality, unified finish.
Check out my 'shop' for my improved Rabari Jackets, or request one to suit in your choice of size and colour. You'll get an amazing jacket with a story to tell! A Jacket thats completely unique, a 'one off' from a romantic culture of nomads, the exotic, mysterious wandering Rabari of Kutch.