Sustainable Fashion With Meaning
Durga's latest ambition is invoking the Goddess within, awakening the divine feminine principles in creative art expressions and materializing the Goddesses.
The "PURE GODDESS PROJECT" is a collaboration of many artist celebrating the Goddesses of different mythologies, philosophies; historical, religious, including saints from various cultures and times through mixed art in the form of coats.
Using sustainable materials is inevitable when it comes to the protection and glorification of the divine femininity as everything is related to the tender energy of the Mother Earth and its resources.
Hemp is chosen as the main canvas for the artists to play with...
Hemp is naturally one of the most ecologically friendly fabrics and also the oldest. This textile has the best ratio of heat capacity of all fibers giving it superior insulation properties. As a fabric, hemp provides all the warmth and softness of other natural textiles but with a superior durability seldom found in other materials. Natural organic hemp fiber ‘breathes’ and is biodegradable. Hemp is a renewable resource grown organically easily and most often grown without herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. Its creamy color makes it environmentally-friendly and unnecessary for bleaching.
In the PURE GODDESS project hemp is combined with other more soft materials for collar, sleeves and also sometimes for the front panel. Here the main material is organic cotton grown and handwoven by different artisans from various ethnic groups, using traditional and environmentally friendly methods of cultivation. Going back to the roots seems to be the only way forward, while mass production, use of chemicals, lots of resources like water etc. is damaging to the natural environment.
Its also a way to protect and bring out the magic of different cultures while mixing and matching these sustainable textiles with modern art.
Using already existing vintage materials is an absolute must too as it is the most sustainable use of resources.
Introducing the first example of a Goddess materializing - the FIRE GODDESS DURGA.
Fire Goddess Durga Coat
Luca Chiapatti photography
Model Edita Gorski
It is no coincidence that the name of the Durga brand refers to the same invincible Hindu Goddess possessing the qualities of joy and strength and a warrior like mission to battle against mass production and modern slavery.
Durga's name literally means "Beyond Reach". This is an echo of the woman warrior's fierce, virginal autonomy. In fact many of the figures associated with her are officially virgin. This is not meant in the limiting sense understood by the patriarchal order, but rather in Esther Harding's sense: she is "one-in-herself", or as Nor Hall puts it, "Belonging-to-no-man". Her divine power does not depend on her relation to a husband-god, and thus her actions are not dependent on the need to conciliate such a one or to accord with his qualities and attitudes. For she bears her identity through her own right.'
According to the legend, Durga defeated the Mahishasura' - demon who unleashed evil and terror all over the world. He could not be killed by Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. With the combined forces of all the Gods, Mahadevi was created who was neither goddess nor human. With her fierce lion as her carrier, Goddess Durga (Mahadevi) rode towards the lair of Mahishasura. After 9 days of continuous battle the demon was finally beaten. Thus, Mahadevi also came to be known as 'Mahishasura Mardhini' - the slayer of Mahishasura.
Goddess Durga represents the power that preserves moral order and righteousness. Also referred to as the Divine Shakti, Durga protects mankind from misery by destroying evil forces and vices such as arrogance, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, greed and selfishness.
Durga is depicted as having eight hands, protecting her devotees from all directions. Each hand holds a weapon that represents her teachings.
She is usually shown wearing a red sari. The color red symbolizes action and the red clothes signify that she is destroying evil and protecting mankind from pain and suffering.
The sudarshana chakra, a disk-like weapon that spins around Durga’s index finger, is a symbol of her role in maintaining dharma – the righteous and moral order of the universe. It reminds us that we must perform our duty and responsibilities in life, as well as live by our own true nature and calling – thus playing our role in the cosmic order.
Durga uses the sword of knowledge to remove the illusion of the ego and helps us remember we are the eternal I AM and not the body. Her upraised sword is a reminder that when our flesh is slain it is the universal soul that remains.
Durga’s trident represents her ability to destroy three types of miseries – physical, mental and spiritual. She reminds us to have the courage to eliminate our evil qualities and courage to face the challenges in our lives.
The mudra that Durga shows symbolizes her forgiveness and blessings. She is also reminding us that we must forgive ourselves and others.
Durga holds a lotus that is not fully bloomed, which symbolizes certainty of success but not finality. The lotus grows from mud, thus it symbolizes the continuous evolution of the devotee’s spirit amidst the worldly mud of lust and greed.
Her club symbolizes devotion and surrender. She reminds us that whatever we do in our lives, we must do with love and devotion and to accept the outcome as God’s will.
Durga holds the bow and arrows in one hand indicating her control over both aspects of energy – potential and kinetic. This represents that we must maintain our character even when we face difficulties in our life.
The conch shell in Durga’s hand symbolizes the ‘Pranava’ or the mystic word ‘Om’, also spelled ‘Aum’, which is considered the greatest of all mantras. Om embodies the essence of the entire universe and it continues to hold everything together.
The lion (or sometimes tiger) that Goddess Durga rides on is a symbol of uncontrolled animalistic tendencies – such as anger, arrogance, selfishness, greed and jealousy. Durga sitting on top of the lion reminds us to control these qualities so that we are not controlled by them.
In my art DURGA ART coat I have used mixed media art, paint, organic cotton weaved by hands by artisans from lake Inle (Myanmar) and batik cotton floral lining from Indonesia.
Styling by Dorit Kozlovski
Art coat available in Durga webshop
Dress available in Durga Etsy shop Shoes Steve Madden from personal collection
Text refrences from aliciagoldberg.com, http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2005/12/hemp_facts_on_t.html
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