18 Mar : Mandali Mendrilla, an internationally distinguished Croatian fashion designer based in USA, is planning a neo-Vedic style clothing line in her atelier collection in collaboration with renowned Vaishnava theologian Dr. Kenneth Valpey and blessings of acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed.
Before formally launching the line, she plans to do extensive research into Vedic ceremonies, ancient temple reliefs and art inspired by Sanskrit epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Bharhut and Sanchi reliefs, Harappan culture (around 3300 BCE), Mauryan dynasty (322 to 185 BCE), Vratyas, Banabhatta’s (7th century) Harshacharita, etc., to come up with exquisite designs fused with influences of Mediterranean Croatian regional dressmaking heritage and the well-known Italian sense of style.
Mandali is currently researching into the rectangular jackets and short pleated dhotis worn by Mauryan warriors; designs based on Kusa grass skirts worn by ladies during Vedic ceremonies; turbans for both sexes based on Harappan culture; black and pointed Vratya shoe styles; etc.
The 32 years old charming Mandali says: "The energy, wisdom and dignity of Vedic India has always intrigued me and its fabulous sense of style is a classic that survived the ages in traces. Inspired by a well known traditional Vedic sculptor/painter Drdha Monge, I leaped on a quest to explore and rediscover ancient Indian dressing codes and artistic rules governing traditional Indian dress over the ages as well as ways to blend those with the ways of the modern world.”
“Mr. Rajan Zed’s constant attempts to reach across lines of difference through prayer provides great inspiration to me in fusion clothing”, Mandali points out. She has been exploring Vedic tradition and Bhakti Yoga under the mentorship of Dr. Valpey, which resulted in consulting him for her next line.
Internationally renowned stylist, designer and artist Mandali Mendrilla finds inspiration in the living installation called world and its abundance of moods, characteristics, relationships and actions of time. She thinks humans can use clothes to help communicate, explore, enhance and discover their inner selves rather than consider dressing as an external act of duty. She has already exhibited her work in Italy, Croatia, USA, and India and during this year, she plans to take her shows to Japan and United Kingdom, besides repeating Croatia, Italy, and India.
Vaishnava theologian and scholar of Indian cultural and religious traditions, Dr. Valpey is a Fellow at prestigious Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in United Kingdom.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, has recited groundbreaking first Hindu opening prayer in United States Senate in Washington DC. He was recently bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”. He is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. Inspired by his prayer in US Senate, Mendrilla dedicated a line of designer shirts from her latest atelier collection to him.