Yesterday the Baxter Mill design team had a bit (read a lot) of fun with some of the ikat robes from the archive! We channeled John, Ringo, Paul, and George and spent the morning laughing and strutting while recreating the iconic Abbey Road photo.
We love designing collections, working with clients, and reinterpreting the archives, but we also love having a good time together too. These ikat robes originate from Uzbekistan and feature bold colors, gorgeous patterns. They also have an interesting history, making them very precious to us!
In the 1600s, the robes were political- worn by government officials and given to subjects as a reward for their service, much like medals are given out today. They were constructed by master craftsman and their apprentices and colored with natural dyes. When Russia conquered the area in the mid-19th century, ikat robes ceased to be political, but were still viewed as highly valuable. The Soviet government recognized the Uzbekistan identity found in the ikat robes and therefore restructured society so that everyone would be wearing one. Production became more streamlined, shifting from a few masters creating the robes to factories mass producing them. Chemical dyes were implemented in the place of natural dyes and the robes could be purchased in the mass marketplace. Independence came to the area in 1991, and with it returned the traditional production of ikat robes, bringing the process full circle!
We’re working on a plan to bring these robes to the 21st Century- Made in the USA too! Stay tuned.
This is the Baxter Mill team saying hello, goodbye!