Whenever I’m in Australia, I like to fill my home with objects from my travels. Each time I look at them, they trigger wonderful memories and preserve my fascination with all things exotic.
One of my favourite treasures is an Indian-inspired maxi dress by the boutique brand, Seraphina. It lives proudly in my wardrobe and gets pulled out each time I hit up the beach. The designer, Fiona Hodges, originally drew her inspiration for this piece (and her entire Seraphina collection) from Darjeeling and Goa, two destinations which captured my heart in 2015.
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling’s potent natural beauty and quaint charm grabbed my attention with both hands. Beyond its legendary tea industry, historical railway and breathtaking views of Kangchenjunga (the world’s third highest mountain), the “Queen of Hill Stations” also served up a feast of delectable eats, traditional crafts and quirky characters.
Goa was equally as alluring. I fell in love with its Portuguese-inspired architecture and world-famous fish curry. If it weren’t for my tight schedule, I would’ve lost myself to the hippie culture and dreamy beaches for months. The monsoonal weather only made the place more electrifying.
Based on my colourful travels throughout India, I can understand why Fiona wanted to create a fashion and lifestyle brand with its heart in the subcontinent. I recently discovered the little-known designer was brought up on her father’s tea plantation in Darjeeling, where she was inspired by the work of local artisans, especially their block print textiles. Indeed, this intricate technique has lead to a beautiful motif, which is now a distinct signature for the Seraphina brand.
While Fiona’s striking collections are being stocked worldwide, her flagship boutique is located in the silky sands of Ashwem Beach in Goa. It’s easy to see how this holiday haven has become a major muse for her label. Seraphina is renowned for its lightweight, breathable and ultra-comfy designs, which make them perfect for beach-goers and people who live in warm climates (like me).
Practicality aside, I’m attracted to Seraphina’s women’s wear because it strikes the right balance between sweet and sexy. The subtle beading details, fresh colours and loose cuts are ultra-feminine. As with traditional Indian clothing, Seraphina is relatively conservative in its celebration of the female form (by Western standards), displaying the perfect amount of skin as a teaser. As my mother always says, “It’s good to leave some things to the imagination.”
If you’d like to see more pieces from Seraphina’s women’s wear collection, visit supernomad.co.uk. Easy-to-wear maxi dresses are just the beginning.