As Ayah Tabari celebrates her New York Fashion Week debut yesterday, the Mochi founder and creative director shares exclusively with Savoir Flair the travel diary behind the creation of her highly-anticipated ‘Mexico’ collection. For the brand’s Spring/Summer 2018 collection, Tabari visited the Mayan artisans, enabling her to witness first-hand the craftsmanship and care that goes into creating every unique embroidery and fabric produced in the Yucatan. From here, she spent time with the Mayan people and learnt about authentic Mexican culture and the reasons behind their vibrant reputation.
“For centuries, their meaningful, vibrant, and colorful traditional clothing has been handmade and worn to represent harmony and unity, and it is symbolic of their origins and many sacred beliefs. The large cultural diversity is seen clearly through the vast scope of bright colors used within these works of art,” explains Tabari when describing her respect for the Mayan communities and their work.
In the words of Tabari herself, discover the process behind Mochi’s SS18 collection below, shared exclusively with Savoir Flair.
Day 1 - Mexico City
“I left NYC and took a flight to Mexico City very early in the morning, I was a bit nervous about traveling alone, but very excited to start the journey. It’s sometimes hard to visualize the collection until you are in the country; for me, this is the last part of the puzzle. I already knew the silhouettes I wanted to create, so it was a case of sourcing the embroidery and a chance for me to become immersed and inspired by the Mexican artisanal culture.”
Day 2 - Yucatan
“I travelled to Yucatan and met my guide there. There is no particular area in Yucatan where the artisans live, so we travelled all over, looking for the embroidery I wanted to use to create the collection. It was amazing. I met a beautiful family of artisans, who I sat with for hours watching their techniques. Although there was a language barrier between us, they still understood what I wanted.”
Day 3 - Yucatan
“I spent most of the day working on the foundations of the embroidery with the family of artisans I had met the previous day. I then spent the afternoon exploring with my guide, who showed me some yummy places to eat in the area. The food in this part of the world is amazing. Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines – you just can’t beat it.”
Day 4 - Chiapas
“I took a boat trip to Chiapas, where I worked on the bags for my SS18 collection, which was incredible. The Chiapas state boasts some of the most varied terrains and ecosystems in Mexico – it was honestly beautiful and mind-blowing.”
Day 5 - San Cristobel
“I spent a bit of time in San Cristobel, exploring the colorful streets for last-minute souvenirs, before starting the long journey back home to Dubai. I left feeling confident that I had found the textiles and embroideries I needed for the collection, and just prayed that I would do this part of the world justice with the pieces I create.”