When I visited my ikat supplier in Hyderabad earlier this year, a silk scarf caught my eye. I wasn’t really looking to incorporate animal inspired fabrics in my collection, but this scarf just spoke to me. I liked the ikat motif, I liked the juxtaposing of the motif with a large scale version of the same thing, and I tweaked the colour to make the design pop out a little more. I know it isn't quite the same as a python skin design, but that's what I associated this motif with. To me this is evocative of python skin, and it's captured in a more abstract way rather than a mere duplication.
I placed an order for yardage very similar to this scarf (with the colour change) but when it arrived in August I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I loved the fabric, but didn't think it fit into the draped-styles-phase that I'm going through. Besides, anything too feminine (draped styles or a strappy dress) wouldn't do justice to the personality of this fabric and ikat design. I needed something hard- like metal studs or metal zippers to complete the look and give it that toughness the fabric called for. I experimented with metal zippers around the neck line and finally decided on stitching rows of the zipper teeth around the jewel neck line (a painstakingly long process).
(We use nearly 5 metres of zipper tape per dress, and it takes nearly 4 hours to complete just the neck with zippers for this dress).
And here’s the final outcome: an elegant silhouette with heavy rows of zippers at the neck. I give you Python Dress!