Photos by Lou Rouse
Known for its “playfully regal” aesthetic, Jai has delivered a Spring/Summer 2011 collection that is equally as ebullient. Inspired by the fragile beauty of the coral reefs, the New York label’s latest range is chock-full of easy pieces made from Tencel, organic cotton, organic silk-and-cotton blends, and cruelty-free Ahimsa silk. But while the ensembles conjured up fantasies of cavorting among the breaking waves, they have a far earthier origin. Many of the garments were hand-dyed with locally grown fruits (including strawberries), vegetables, and even turmeric pulp left over from Tumeric Alive’s Gotham-based beverage-manufacturing business.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
Composed of soft pastels with a decidedly feminine feel, the line features a lot of the Jai signatures we love: flattering princess waists, sweetheart necklines, layer-friendly separates, and skirt lengths that tease without devolving into a flesh parade. Among our favorites are Isa, a babydoll dress with a fluttery, asymmetrical hem; Melissa, a sunny one-piece with a demure, lady-like neckline; and Lady J, a classic, easy-to-wear frock that gets its milky pink hue from a strawberry dye bath.
Many of the garments were hand-dyed with locally grown fruits, vegetables, and even turmeric pulp.
Designer Kizzy Jai Knight describes her line as one that’s “elegantly poised for ladies who love to look and feel amazing.” She didn’t look have to look far to find her muse, either. “Having worked with vegetable-dyed silk last season and musing on the natural intelligence of coral reefs, we wanted to include more of our immediate surroundings as we traveled our creative road,” she tells Ecouterre. “After some edifying research, I opened the fridge to see what might work.”