Category Archives: Elly Adventures

Join us on our journey in this Elly world that we love! Read all about what fun we have on our adventures past, present and future both in Ibiza and across the globe.

John Lewis x La Galeria Elefante Capsule Collection Summer 2022

La Galeria Elefante x John Lewis Summer 2021

I could not be happier with our 3rd summer collection in collaboration with John Lewis. Working relationships are sacred and I am forever grateful to be working with such wonderful brands!

The 2022 collection features floaty boho maxi & midi dresses, this year with the addition of a playful jumpsuit! Made from soft, sustainable cotton and EcoVero rayon, the designs are inspired by global textiles, nature and the beauty of Ibiza, in pretty leaf prints, paisleys and abstract prints. Each piece tells its own story.

Included in this years’ collection, with bespoke alterations, are the Kimono Dress, the Tash Dress, the Jody Dress and the Jumpsuit.

The inspiration for the prints in the Summer 2022 collection stem from walks down memory lane, as well as evening strolls in the magical light of Ibiza nature and long swims in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The cotton pieces are made using BCI which is the “Better Cotton Initiative” –  the concept of growing cotton with judicious use of water, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, to reduce the environmental footprint of cotton farming.

The rayon pieces are made using EcoVero rayon, the eco friendly version of rayon which uses less water and pesticides. The production of EcoVero causes 50% less emissions and takes up half as much energy and water in addition to its pulp bleaching being 100% chlorine-free.

The Kimono Dress is an all-time favourite, repeated due to popular demand. It’s a long, cotton v-neck dress with a tie at the back and a fitted waist that flares out to a full skirt, accented by the 3/4 length kimono sleeves. Prints inspired by the island’s sun, fields and sea.
Available in a Green Fern Print or in a Yellow Kaleidoscope Print.

The Jumpsuit 

This playful Jumpsuit is an oversized one-piece, with a v-neckline and a zip-up front. It features a tie with a tassel at the back and it has pockets too! The wide legs make it the perfect summer outfit for beaching, boating or boogying! 
Available in a Cream Ikat Print

The Tash Dress

The Tash Dress is a loose fitting midi dress with a high waist and a round neckline. It features capped sleeves and is available in a fun teal star tile print and a blue & white abstract kaleidoscope print, inspired by dreamy evenings under starry Ibiza skies. 
Available in Blue Kaleidoscope Print and a Teal Star Tile Print.

The Jody Dress

The Jody Dress is our own signature boho maxi dress, but with a few bespoke alterations. The prints are reminiscent of Ibiza sunsets over the sea and it’s the perfect holiday dress for both daytime and evening wear. This long, cotton maxi dress has a tiered skirt, perfect for twirling in. Its bohemian style is matched by the blouson sleeves and frilled, rounded neckline, with elastic shirring under the bust to define your shape and make way for the flared A-line cut.
Available in a Pink Floral Print and in a Blue Paisley Print.

SHOP THE JOHN LEWIS X LA GALERIA ELEFANTE COLLECTION HERE
Available at Peter Jones in Sloane Square or John Lewis on Oxford Street, in Kingston and in Cheadle as well as in-store and online.

Also available on our own website in other pretty prints and fits. 

Boutique Hotel Can Talaias

Boutique Hotel Can Talaias
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We recently had the great pleasure of styling our latest collection of fashion and homeware at the rural boutique hotel hideaway, Can Talaias. With its beautiful interior and stunning views, it was the perfect setting for our photoshoot, made even more fun by our wonderful hosts, Cushan, Leti and the extended family of Vita the podenco, Pi the pooch, Mona the cat and the star of the show, Miss Piggy, only cajoled into joining us by hands full of cat food!
Giggling and dancing around the grounds, we instantly felt at home and so were able to set the mood for our spring colours photoshoot, captured by one of our favourite resident photographers, Gypsy Westwood. Every corner of this countryside hotel is elegantly styled; the rooms are classically chic, the decor is on fleek and family heirlooms scattered throughout add an extra nostalgic glow. Can Talaias is a pleasure to visit and we highly recommend it as your go-to venue for events including weddings and photoshoots. If you’re looking for a romantic venue for a delicious Mediterranean meal, be sure to reserve your table at the Can Talaias restaurant, open to the public by reservation only. For bookings please call +34 649 913 812.
Take a look at our Ibiza lifestyle photoshoot here

A haven of peace and serenity, surrounded by hills and pine forests, just above the picturesque village of San Carlos, it boasts the magical charm of nature and authentic simplicity.

Originally the home of one of the island’s most celebrated residents, English actor Terry-Thomas and wife Belinda, who in 1967 discovered a rundown hilltop finca and designed their dream family home, in keeping with the traditional Ibicencan style – but with a few distinctive T-T touches.

Now run by their youngest son, Cushan and wife Laetitia, Boutique Hotel Can Talaias became one of the first rural hotel (agroturismos) on the island and is a wonderful place to stay, relax and take in the magical colours of the Ibiza sunset, the bright starry nights and the stunning moonlit sea.

Read more about Terry-Thomas and the history of Can Talaias here Find out more about staying at Can Talaias here

Devoted Designers

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Shop owning is a multi faceted business that keeps me on my toes! The really fun parts include sourcing treasures and selecting designers to showcase in-store. As a designer myself, I’m often up at all hours finalising clothing prints with designers in India, doodling jewellery ideas, preparing pieces for the homewares section and crafting baskets, lamps and other pieces for the shop. I fully understand how difficult it is to self-promote and so appreciate every day that I have the perfect outlet not only for my own pieces but also for the amazing items made by designers I adore. Meeting new designers on a daily basis fills me with love for my chosen path and so I would like to introduce to you a few of the designers I passionately promote at La Galeria Elefante.

Here are a few designers I have had the pleasure to work with and would love for you to know more about.

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Scarlett Day Jewellery. Nurturing a love of fine jewellery while working with us at La Galeria Elefante over the years, Scarlett was initially influenced while working for a jeweller many years ago in Goa. Born with a love of crystals and an eye for the magnificent, Scarlett created her own self-named brand of beautifully elegant and accessible pieces. The Scarlett Day collections include easy to wear earrings, stunning rings carefully crafted using semi precious stones and wonderful pendants, all made from 9 carat gold and zealously designed by Scarlett herself. Scarlett devours the inspiration that surrounds her and adds a sparkle of magic to every piece created. Keep an eye out for her yearly collections and be sure to pop in to see them.

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Olivia Dar. With a passion for wanderlust and a lifelong love of artisanal traditions and Indian crafts, Italian born Olivia settled in India to begin a career designing embroideries and accessories for haute couture labels. Olivia’s career soon blossomed into a company of her own, creating a haven of fair working conditions for her employees and producing spectacular hand made jewellery, clothing and accessories. The hand beaded statement earrings in the shape of birds, fish and even jelly fish are just fabulous and the velvet embroidered purses are colourful fun! Olivia’s Nooristani coats are works of art and the embroidery on them tells a story of its own.

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Sophie Theakston. Influenced by her family of jewellers, Sophie has an inherent love of jewellery. Returning to college to study jewellery design and production, Sophie’s love became a passion. Fascinated by ancient designs and beliefs, Sophie’s pieces are permeated with symbolism and each made with 18 carat gold and gemstones. Sophie truly believes that a person’s jewellery represents their lifestyle and tells the tale of their journey and loves the “sense of permanence and that deeper connection with who we are and what we hold dear.” Sophie’s collections include striking rings, elegant earrings, easy-to-wear bracelets and dainty necklaces and I think they are stunning.  

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If you are a designer and think your pieces might harmonise well with our own pieces and those of the designers we love, please don’t hesitate to email us and get in touch. We support talent in all shapes and sizes and would love to help you boost your brand if it complements our own. 
 
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Artisanal Artistry

Artisanal Artistry

Artisanal Artistry

With a love for all things exquisite, over the years, I have curated what I see as a haven for the unique. In a buzzing climate of exponential growth in the material world, I would like to take a minute to honour the artisans, without whom none of this would be possible. Artisans, myself included, are a special breed! Our minds are sponges, continuously soaking up ideas and dreaming, often spending many hours on an idea before it is even put down on paper. The amount of work behind creating a piece of art on any scale is astounding and the thought process can be exhausting. The incredible crafts honed by artisans are often neglected and the final piece of art undervalued. Crafting requires a creative mind and a whole lot of patience! I for one hugely appreciate the work of all artisans near and far and not only love working with them to create my own pieces but I also love supporting, encouraging and promoting them as much as possible. The stories behind the crafting process are as wonderful as the outcome and any small irregularities are part of the journey the item has been on before it becomes yours.

Here are a few artisans and artisanal crafts I am particularly enamoured with and would love for you to know more about.

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Decoupage. Handmade by artisan sisters in the UK, our collection of decoupage pieces is always a conversation starter. For those of you who aren’t familiar with decoupage, it’s a decorative art dating back to the 12th century. A picture is meticulously cut out and applied using many layers of varnish, creating a final effect that is so perfect it looks as though it has been hand painted. A favourite of mine are the decoupaged soaps; soaps so pretty you won’t want to use them, but you can! Each one takes quite a few hours to make and they are the perfect gift. Pop by to see the coasters from the same artisans as well as the beautiful vases, pots, boxes and bowls.

SHOP CANDLES, SOAPS AND SCENTS
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Paper-cut Domes. These domes are breathtakingly beautiful. A whole paper cut village is created inside a glass dome, with pictures of our favourite landmarks in Ibiza. Made exclusively for us, these Ibiza domes feature iconic venues in the including the lovely villages of San Joan and our very own Santa Gertrudis. Paper-cut pieces are mounted onto wire to create the 3-d effect of the village and the whole scene is forever encapsulated inside a glass dome – spectacular and such fiddly work! Available in 3 sizes, pop in to choose your favourite. The perfect centrepiece for your coffee table or mantelpiece.

SHOP UNIQUE PIECES
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Laurance. Fascinated by the endless possibilities of clay, Laurance’s visions shine through in her amazingly quirky and fabulous pieces of pottery. Greatly inspired by cultural travel through lands afar, Laurance not only moulds her pieces but also hand paints them. Each design is brought to life through consistency and colour and each one is somehow more wonderfully whimsical than the next. 

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Block Printing. What an astonishing craft! I will never tire of the beauty of hand block printing. Many of you may not fully know about the amount of work that goes into a hand block printed item before the final piece is ready. Hand block printing is predominantly a 5-step process and requires the input of 5 different artisans. If you take a dress for example, it will have been stitched by one artisan, hand dyed by another, hand block printed by a third, quality controlled by a fourth and the design of the prints is done by yet another person! Our hand block printing can be seen on many of our pieces, including the very pretty collection we curate every year with the Women’s Interlink Foundation in India – a whole team of skilled artisans who have been rescued from an underprivileged life and taught a trade. Read more about block printing and about WIF here.

SHOP THE WOMEN'S INTERLINK FOUNDATION
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza

Ibiza Espadrilles. The island of Ibiza has a magic of its own. It has been the muse of many an artist and artisan over the years and has been the birthplace of many a wonderful craft. High on our list of artisanal delights are the Ibiza Espadrille Sandals. The perfect footwear for island hopping in floaty Bohemian dresses or shirts & shorts. They are handmade true to a traditional island craft. They have a rounded toe and can be fastened with the Roman strap closure. The string technique allows your feet to breathe and because they are so light, it feels like you are walking barefoot! Worn by the traditional, folkloric “Ball Pagès” dancers, these lovely sandals are inspired by the light, the sea and the Ibiza breeze and each pair is meticulously worked from natural cactus fibres and has a rubber soul. Passed down through the generations, this is a local artisan craft that we feel is important to keep alive, not only because we love the sandals, but also because it is an incredible craft.

SHOP BAGS, PURSES AND SHOES
If you are a creative soul yourself or know someone who is, please do encourage them to bring their ideas to life. If you’re looking for inspiration don’t hesitate to pop in to La Galeria Elefante or come and spend a crafternoon with me in my studio in the hills. Together we can keep crafts alive and support artisanal talent.
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Designed by Victoria in the Hills of Ibiza

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For as long as I can remember I have been a huge fan of crafts and handmade pieces always put a smile on my face. I love the home-made, handspun feel, especially when you can see the story the piece is telling. The best therapy for me is spending as much time as possible in my studio in the hills of Ibiza. I can literally spend hours in my own world, doodling, designing, planning and producing. Some of the items at La Galeria Elefante are my own creations and I absolutely adore making them! Often influenced by the colours of the different seasons, the sounds of nature, and the beautiful Ibiza light, my whimsical designs include pieces like the Nest Lamps, the Branch of Life, the lovely little Alice Baskets perfect for a candle and the Happy Baskets (an Ibiza-style handbag). All pieces are made with love and lots of laughter.

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Crafternoons bring me inner peace. As well as crafting or painting on my own, I thoroughly enjoy taking part in workshops which in turn inspire me to create for the shop. A favourite of mine is participating in the Sparkling Surfaces course taught by the fabulous and inspirational Andrew Logan (andrewlogan.com). The “wonderful workshops” event takes place yearly in Jaipur where we design and make sparkling jewellery as well as the glass and mirror mosaic art for the walls. If you are interested in crafting, definitely check out www.wonderfulworkshops.org and sign yourself up for some fun.

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These original pieces I’ve made over the years are on display at La Galeria Elefante and I have since found artisans in India to replicate some of my pieces for us. Our Glitter Signs are available in two sizes and express various sentiments. Choose between “Peace,” “Love,” “Magic” or the slightly risqué “Fuck-it,” each carved from wood and bedazzled with mirror, colourful beads and glitter.

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Glitter Love Sign La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
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We also have the Angel Wing which is another pretty piece in this collection, now available in the shop. Although my original piece is a single wing, the ones we are producing come as a pair and look lovely hanging together on the wall of a kids’ room. Made using little pearls, mirror-work and glitter, these wings are available in small and large in various colours and will add a lovely sparkle to any wall while reflecting the light. Also available as a replica of my original piece is the sparkly Protective Eye, to watch over you and keep you from harm. Made with mirror-work, colourful beads, tiny pearl beads and glitter, the eyeballs on these eyes are made from a concave piece of mirror, adding an extra dimension.

All our signs and wings are made for us by a small family run business we love working with in Delhi. These sparkly decorative signs have become signature pieces and so are always available.

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John Lewis x La Galeria Elefante Capsule Collection

La Galeria Elefante x John Lewis Summer 2021
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The whirlwind world of fashion is as exhilarating as it is absolutely exhausting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Humbled by the success of our first collaboration, I was over the moon to be asked to create a new dress collection for John Lewis this summer.
Textiles and prints are one of my biggest passions and so together with the amazingly efficient and all-round wonderful team at John Lewis, the new prints were chosen and the 2021 capsule collection emerged, along with the first of the summer sunshine, in May.
The collection features floaty boho maxi & midi dresses, in soft sustainable cotton and sheer chiffon. The designs, inspired by global textiles, nature and the beauty of Ibiza, include pretty florals, paisleys and abstract prints.
Each piece tells its own story.
The inspiration for the prints in the Summer 2021 collection are definitely related to my world travels and to traditional printing techniques, childhood fairy tales the crystal clear waters, the scent of the pine forests, beautiful sunsets and the incredible clear light and blue skies of Ibiza.
Included in this year’s collection, with bespoke alterations, are the Lyrical Dress,
the Kimono Dress, the Cosmic Dress, the Suzie Dress and the Jody Dress.

The Lyrical Dress

La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
Mosaic Tile Print La Galeria Elefante Ibiza

The Lyrical Dress. The blue star mosaic print was inspired by traditionally handmade floor tiles discovered on a trip to Morocco. This ankle-grazing dress has a tiered skirt and a deep v-neck front, giving it a beautifully bohemian look and it can be dressed up with boots or dressed down with a simple pair of sandals. The open v-neck front leads to an elasticated waist, making it a very flattering fit as it has a matching sash that can be worn as a belt, around the neck like a scarf or even as a head band! The pretty, puffy short sleeves are ruffled at the hems. There are poppers on an elasticated collar at the back of the neck giving an easy fit on the shoulders.
Complete with deep side pockets, John Lewis says this is a dress you can really rely on and I agree!
Available in black and white, bold floral block print, or Blue Star Tile.
Available at John Lewis and Peter Jones, London, in-store and online.
Also available on our own website in other pretty prints (our one has a much more open back.)

The Cosmic Dress

The Cosmic Dress. The “Cosmic” dress in floaty blue chiffon, is a classic paisley with a floral twist and enlarged print, inspired by trips to India, incorporating bold colours and intricate patterns. The shape has a bohemian feel with a touch of the Feminine Pirate (!) which is the ultimate female experience here in Ibiza… inspired by the ’60s mood and “the summer of love” – feeling free and comfortable, easy to wear. This wonderful ’70s chic chiffon dress is loose fitting and long midi length. Beautifully tiered from the breast area and floaty, it features bishop sleeves with pretty detailed shirring gathering over the shoulder and top arm and a tie collar that can be worn open or closed. According to John Lewis, this dress “ticks all the style boxes thanks to the elastic shirring on the upper sleeve and cuff…”
Available from John Lewis and Peter Jones, London, in-store and online, in navy
paisley or pink floral ‘romantic bloom’, inspired by dreamy moments in my garden and vintage textiles.
Also available from us in other pretty prints and colours.

The Suzie Dress

La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza
La Galeria Elefante Ibiza

The Suzie Dress. A knee length casual shirt-style dress with a touch of retro-inspired charm created by the pleating all the way around front and back of the chest area and also front and back of the drop waist area. The print is a classic paisley with a floral twist and enlarged print, inspired by trips to India, incorporating bold colours and vintage charm.
Available from John Lewis and Peter Jones, London, in-store and online and from us in-store in other pretty prints. The John Lewis suggestion is to “just add sandals in the summer, but why not layer it over a roll neck and boots in the
winter to get all year round wear”.

The Jody Dress

The Jodie Dress is our own signature boho maxi dress, but with a few bespoke alterations. The print inspired by the sun, sand and sea of Ibiza, makes this the perfect holiday dress. This long, cotton maxi dress has a tiered skirt, perfect for twirling in. Its bohemian style is matched by the blouson sleeves and frilled, square neckline, with elastic shirring under the bust to define your shape and make way for the flared A-line cut. John Lewis suggests that this dress “speaks volumes as it is” and to “just add sandals.”
Available in a yellow geometric fern leaf print from John Lewis and Peter Jones, London, in-store and online and on our own website in a number of different pretty hand block prints and colours.

The Kimono Dress

The Kimono Dress. The long cotton v-neck dress is an all time favourite. It has 2 small buttons with loops at the breast area and a tie at the back of the fitted waistband that enhances the flare to a full skirt accented by the above-the-wrist-length kimono wide sleeves. The beautiful print is inspired by the island’s sea and John Lewis says “invest in the dress you’re going to want to turn to all summer long.”
Available in a blue geometric fern leaf print from John Lewis and Peter Jones, London, in-store and online.
Also in a number of pretty hand block prints on our own website.

These versatile dresses can be dressed up or dressed down – for beach, or dinner, or shopping in the market, great for festivals and weddings and easy summer garden parties too. Also those with long sleeve styles are perfect for winter with a chunky oversize sweater and boots.

I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I enjoyed creating it with the John Lewis team and sincerely thank everyone involved.

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Ikat Weaving

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My fascination with textiles began at quite a young age and has escalated into full blown LOVE.
Beautiful prints, patterns and weavings always catch my eye but investigating the intricacies of how these patterns on woven textiles are made has really become a passion. These different types of age old crafts have incredible stories behind them and one of my missions is to keep these crafts from disappearing.
These techniques are so utterly incredible that I truly believe they must never disappear so that future generations can admire them as much as I do!
Kantha stitching and hand block printing are two favourite techniques of mine but the more I learn about Ikat, the more I fall in love with it

Ikat is possibly one of the oldest forms of textile decoration. This intricate weaving technique uses a method called resist-dye in which the yarns are tightly wrapped and dyed before the fabric is weaved. Used to pattern textiles, the ikat technique is very tricky to perfect but end results are a true work of art.

Due to the complexity of the technique, Ikat has been known to symbolise wealth and prestige. Most prevalent in Central Asia, Indonesia, India and Japan, ikat is also found in many cultures and is known as daraee in Persian which translates as wealth, and this fabric is often included in a bride’s dowry during wedding ceremonies.

The word ikat in Indonesian literally means to tie or to bind.

Ikat is popular all around the world and many different cultures have their own adaptation of it, each just as intricate as the next. The main types of ikat weaving are weft, warp and the magnificent double ikat. I won’t go into too much detail here but if you would like to find out more about these amazing techniques, visit our Artisanal Crafts page.

Weft – the crosswise threads on a loom that are passed over and under the warp threads to make cloth and the weft yarns are dyed a solid colour.

Warp – the lengthwise or longitudinal threads on a loom over and under which the weft threads are passed to make cloth.

Double ikat – both the warp and weft yarns are tied and dyed before being woven into a single textile. Double ikats are understandably quite rare.

The long wall hanging pictured above is one of my favourites and is a Sumba vintage ceremonial piece, made using vegetable dyes, double ikat weave and the mirror-image technique.

If all you can think about now is the beauty of ikat, pop in and browse my lovely collection of pretty ikat prints.

Also available in a number of different ikats is the gorgeously funky Ikat Kirsty Coat like the one I am wearing. These fantastic coats are fun and easy to wear long coats made from a cotton/silk traditional ikat. They feature a collar, side pockets and a pretty hand block cotton print lining. No two are the same and each one was designed by me, with love.

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Kantha Stitch Embroidery

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Intricate embroidery, colourful stitching, detailed needlework and craftsmanship passed down through generations have always been fascinating to me. Although not a seamstress myself, my enthusiasm for design comes greatly from my grandmother who had a wonderful eye for the exquisite. Ardently supporting the makers of disappearing crafts is an obsession of mine and the beauty of a handmade piece never ceases to amaze me. KANTHA is a favourite of mine. This pretty running stitch can be seen on so many of our fabulous pieces in the shop.
The word Kantha literally means ‘rags’ in Sanskrit, which is the perfect definition as a finished kantha piece is composed of all sorts of pieces of scrap fabrics, including unused pieces of beautiful saris.
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Patchwork Making
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Perfect for both men and women, our Kantha Jackets are a great example of this wonderful running stitch – choose between our funky box jacket, the stylishly oversized jacket, a hip length version or even the Kantha Riding Jacket for a more fitted look. As well as these wonderful jackets, we have a wide selection of kantha blankets & bedspreads in all colours and kantha cushions in all shapes and sizes. A number of the dresses, tops and tunics in my Victoria Made With Love & Laughter label are hemmed with pretty lines of colourful running kantha stitch – it really adds to the piece, especially our velvets with contrasting threads.
Handmade for us by skilled women workers in Jaipur, India and also outside Kathmandu, Nepal, we hope you love our pieces as much as we do!

Hand Block Printing

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Hand block printing is a favourite craft of mine. Many of you may have seen some of the final results of this method on beautiful clothing, but have you ever stopped to think how these prints are brought to life?
Hand block printing is a skill that requires the patience of a saint! I have always collected old hand blocks, which are a work of art in themselves, even before they are used as printing blocks. Depending on the print, sometimes multiple blocks per motif are used!

Hand carved patterns are sculpted from blocks of wood to essentially create a stamp. The stamp is then dipped in inks or dyes (wherever possible we prefer to use vegetable dyes) and then the process of manually stamping the print onto large rolls of fabric begins. How could you not love this wonderful method of printing?

Not only does this skill produce incredible prints, it is also one of the more sustainable methods around as the fabric must first be soaked in water to remove starchiness in the fibre and many Indian artisans will do this in the local rivers, reducing the need for water consumption.

Sourcing trips to India always include a visit to Jaipur where I thoroughly enjoy watching the chippas (a caste of printers) bring the whole process to life. Always working with small family businesses and doing my part to make sure they are working in fair conditions, one of my main passions is to keep this amazing craft alive. This is mostly done by associations teaching those less fortunate the skill and how to implement it.

Help us to keep this incredible craft from disappearing by supporting fair trade whenever you can.

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Elly Admiration

Victoria With Lakshmi The Elly
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Elephants by name and very much elly-like by nature, our Elly Herd is a tight female family group. We of course adore the male members of our herd, but we take extra care of women workers around the world and take pride in being able to do so. Like ellies, we are surrounded by a doting collective of “aunties”, also known as clients, who encourage us with their constant praise of new products and designs made for us by skilled artisans. Lovingly referred to as the matriarch of our herd, I have a deep admiration of these magnificent animals.

Always astounded by their intelligence, it still humbles me that elephants can be so compassionate, altruistic and playful considering their immense size! Just like us, ellies love to hug and do so by wrapping their trunks together – adorable! What’s even more heart-warming is that some elephants suck their trunks for comfort, like humans suck their thumbs! Self-awareness is a trait possessed by very few animals but elephants are so cute with their 5 inch eyelashes that they actually love to look at themselves in the mirror! Vain, moi?!

As you may know, I love to travel and I make sure to visit elephant sanctuaries and orphanages as often as possible. Elephants have amazing memories and are even able to recognise and distinguish human voices so when in India, I make sure I pop in on one of my favourite ellies, Lakshmi, to deliver big bunches of bananas by the kilo! We love going bananas together! Ellies can tell the difference between human languages, male and female voices, friendly voices and those associated with danger so please be especially kind to them at all times and remember, “an elephant never forgets”.

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Here’s a fun fact – did you know that unlike me, elephants can’t jump? They keep one foot on the floor at all times and despite their weight, the African elephants stand on their tippy toes! I love to jump around, singing, dancing and skipping whenever I can. We do however both love to swim but much to my chagrin, I don’t have a built in trunk for a snorkel – if only!

Here’s a fascinating fact – African elephants can be recognized by their large ears shaped like the continent of Africa whereas Asian elephants have smaller ears shaped like India! Wonders of nature never cease to amaze me.
I must admit though, there are 2 aspects of elephant life I am glad I don’t share with the ellies. The first is the need to feed for 12 to 18 hours a day! If this were the case, I would most certainly be the size of an elly! The second is being pregnant for 2 years – imagine that!!! No thank you. Not to mention giving birth to a 120kg baby!

Here’s a cute fact – elephants are born blind and so rely on their mummies heavily for guidance during the first few years. They have quite poor eyesight and are colourblind but can see in the dark. They communicate with one another using sound, touch and scent and have excellent hearing of up to 8km away!

Along with having the largest brain in the animal kingdom, elephants also have an astonishing number of muscles in their very useful trunks – 40,000! Their eating habits create a huge amount of waste per week which in turn keeps the soil fertile and also disperses tree seeds. Without actively knowing it, elephants play a hugely important role in balancing natural ecosystems; they trample forests and dense grasslands, making room for smaller species to co-exist and create water holes & footpaths used by other wildlife, literally changing the landscape around them.

Impossible not to admire and respect them,right?
Ellies, we love you!

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Sadly, these gentle, playful giants are in danger. There are a number of wonderful charities that research and monitor elephant behavior and work to protect elephant communities from ivory poachers and traffickers, while promoting human-elephant coexistence and spreading awareness around the globe. At La Galeria Elefante, we have a number of products available for which we donate 100% of the profits to Elly Charities. Also, if your purchase has an elephant on it, we donate 10% of the sale. Please do find out more and see what you can do to help.

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