About Samsara

  { The Petra Dress }

What does Samsara mean? Why was that chosen as the name of the collection?
Samsara means “world” in Sanskrit/Pali. It is also the continuing cycle of all life: birth, death and rebirth. This past year of living through a pandemic, followed by war for my Armenian people was such an eye opening experience. I knew I had to name this collection something that encompassed that reality of going through a dark time but finding the light. There is a “rebirth” for all through this as nothing seems like what it was before. We have learned to take a moment to breath, appreciate the small things we took granted every day, and realize what matters the most.

What was the overall inspiration of the collection?
Gratitude. I wanted to show gratitude through each and every piece. Bold colors in the prints to signify happiness; coming out of something dark and finding joy through color. I also wanted to show gratitude for our planet by showcasing the fruits of her labor through the use of beautiful natural colors that celebrate her.

If you had to describe the feeling of it in three words...
Gratitude. Light. Stillness. 

{ The Luna Dress }

What inspired the prints? They are all so unique!
Arches: Arches was a collaboration between my friend Lisa Soltis and I. She sent me something she was doodling and I was immediately drawn to it because it was colorful and happy and resembled a rainbow, an innocence that I wanted to somehow make into a sophisticated fun print. It all began with these beautiful colorful arches of watercolor then we digitized it and turned it into a screen for hand printing.

Batik: I wanted elements of this collection to represent traditional Bali. When the pandemic hit I was so concerned for my sewers & team in Bali. Being responsible for so many families and knowing if our business failed my team would be in a tough place was a big pill to swallow. I did everything I could to ensure they would still be paid no matter what. This print reminds me of when I first started going to Bali and the traditional batik prints you find in the fabric shops. We created a motif that would show where we came from & our gratefulness to the Balinese community that made BEL KAZAN possible.

Purple Ikat: I had been drawn to the color purple and wanted to somehow bring that into a print in a subtle yet sophisticated way. There was this sense of bringing Bali into the collection.

Was the process of creating this collection different than usual given the circumstances covid placed the world in?
Yes! This was one of the most challenging collections I have created in 15 years. The shortage in the supply chain from fabric, to thread, to zippers etc made everything take so much longer than usual. Also whereas shipping used to take 2-3 days, it was 7-10 days which caused further delays in the overall collection timeline. On top of that, this was the first time in 15 years that I was unable to go to Bali to work on the collection. I always send my design tech packs to Bali months prior to arriving there and when I get there we perfect everything. There was a lot of going back and forth which caused a lot more sampling than usual to get it right.

Additionally, I usually do my photoshoots in Bali, but this year it was not an option. With the help & support of my team, I took a leap of faith & got behind the camera. I wanted to showcase this collection with the same vision that brought the designs to life. 

{ The Plant Dyed Avery Skirt & Mika Top }

Were any improvements made with this collection, in regards to sustainability?
I've had this dream of working with plant dyes for many years. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and visiting natural dye facilities in Bali, but due to high costs was not able to make it happen. Finally with this new collection my dream came true! I am so grateful to be honoring Mother Earth.

What are your favorite pieces from the collection?
I love the Lena jumpsuit. It is fun and such a comfy piece to put on and go. The Zuri jumpsuit in Burnt Olive is by far one of my favorites too. I see myself living in it for the entire summer because it feels like pajamas when you put it on, but with much more style. The Avery skirt & Mika top in Indigo paired together is such a classic yet timeless set. I will be wearing these with my new Birkenstocks :) And you can't forget the Magali Dress. I love the strong square neckline pair with an easy fit. It's a versatile dress I plan to wear through all seasons. 

{ The Lena Jumpsuit, Zuri Jumpsuit & Magali Dress }

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