The long practiced ritual of ikebana can be traced back as early at the 6th century, hand in hand with the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. Traditionally, the offering consists of three botanical stems gathered closely at the base that rise from the water as one — each stem representing the harmonious relationship between heaven, woman and earth. Ikenobo Senkei, a Buddhist priest, created the earliest form of ikebana, called tatehana, or ‘standing flowers’.
Demanding instinctual reactions to natural arrangement, the gestural and intentional movements of the ikebana practice have inspired our Anaak Resort / Pre-Spring 2019 collection. We believe women, crafts and owers are inextricably linked, each using a symbolic and poetic language in which to express themselves, and together, create stories that hint at mood, seasonality and emotion.
We begin our arrangement with a divine palette, realized in weightless, billowing silk habutai and inspired by sweet Japanese owers and traditional woodblock prints. Fuchsia, ery red and blushing petal pink take centre stage, accompanied by soft periwinkle blue and foaming ivory. It is a painterly combination of tender botanical hues.
The energy of pattern arrives in the form of gingham bralettes and bold striped wide legged pants — a nod to the salty Paci c coastline, lined with shermen dressed in a Japanese workwear hauling in fresh sh. These lightweight pieces are made from a handwoven cotton mulmul of Central India.
The base of our Resort collection is a selection of semi-sheer cottons that create a subtle haze over the entire range, reminiscent of high altitude and misty mornings. Soft ruf es and shirring detailing across the neckline demand attention to the nape of the neck, the movement of head and falling hair. Celebrating posture and poise, these pieces are feminine by way of delicacy and grace. To then intercept these, kimono-inspired tailoring, with a focus on the waist and how it is enclosed, adds structure and form to billowing shapes and maximum volume.
As the collection builds, interchangeable layers of barely-there garments are enveloped by a range of chunky knitwear, made with generous loopings of alpaca wool yarn sourced from Peru and hand-knitted by a circle of female artisans in Bolivia.
This season also welcomes a new addition to our Anaak offering: a handwoven cotton jamdani made in Ahmedabad and West Bengal, featuring tiny dot motifs, which are inserted during the weaving process. Here, and always, the Anaak family continues to practice the meaning of wabi-sabi first hand: to tread lightly on the planet, by using azo-free (low chemical) dyes.
Wabi-sabi also acknowledges that just as it is important to know when to make choices, it is also important to know when not to make choices: to let things be. Our interpretation of this sentiment exists as almost-oating silk maxi dresses in loose, sculptural shapes that encourage ceremony and celebration. The perfect attitude to approach holiday season, or everyday for that matter, because life, like ikebana, and in the words of author Leonard Koren, should be pared down to the essence, but without removing the poetry.