I first met Anjelika Krishna in conjunction with an art and fashion event that I organized at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn for Earth Day 2011. I had heard about Anjelika’s unusual process of using traditional Ayurvedic herb dyes for her ethical clothing label, a.d.o. (also known as “anjelika dreams organic”), and it seemed essential to include her in the event’s line up of textile artisans and designers who are reviving plant-based dyeing techniques for their latest projects and collections.
Since a.d.o.’s launch in 2008, Anjelika has been gradually expanding her ready-to-wear offerings each season by introducing luxurious organic fabrics tinted with non-harmful dye methods in an effort to revive 5,000 year old craft traditions and ancient herb-based recipes. By using only Ayurvedic herb dye, a.d.o spares the environment of harmful chemical residue. It is a closed-loop dyeing process whereby the dye waste is able to be used as garden compost.
The designer has traveled extensively in India to also research and identify quality fabrics such as organic cotton, Ahimsa (peace) silk and organic wool from the most reliable sources. To maintain the utmost standards, every fabric selected goes through a wash test to check for color fastness and durability. The organic fabrics themselves are typically sourced from small hand loom workshops that adhere to fair trade principles and provide a holistic environment for local workers and their families. Most of a.d.o clothing is produced locally in New York City’s garment district where care and thoughtfulness is an integral part of the detailing—down to the recycled materials in the product packaging and labeling. Trims such such as buttons, laces, and drawstrings are also recycled, organic, or natural in origin.
For Spring/Summer 2013, a.d.o. clothing looks to the Italian riviera and features a play on easy geometric shapes as well as tribal influences. Anjelika shared the following with us regarding the inspiration for her designs and fabric selections this season:
“In the creation of Spring/Summer 2013, I really wanted to push myself to develop new and exciting textiles that are lightweight but at the same time have true stylistic character. All of the fabrics we chose are woven and printed exclusively for a.d.o. Our peace silk features a narrow stripe and broad color-block stripe pattern. The thin stripes used in the Capri stripe dress is a mix of turmeric, indigo, and natural peace silk yarns, while the broad color block stripe used in Positano wrap top and is a mix of indigo and turmeric.”
“These styles were a huge hit at MAGIC trade show and had visitors stopping to inquire the details of our technique and the unique styling. I have also always wanted to work with linen and finally identified a certified organic option that was available. I love white for summer, as it looks so elegant and romantic, so I decided not to dye these fabrics for SS13. The Along the Sea maxi dress, Florence dress and Beach pants are all made from a crisp organic linen textile with a cross-hatch pattern. I also brought back our classic chambray organic cotton Kirti dress and Bela tank. They are the perfect wardrobe staples.”
Cool easy layering, holistic attitudes, and classic silhouettes make a.d.o. clothing a timeless option for smart fashion dressing. Anjelika’s added commitment to digging deep into her own roots and cultural identity while also working to create solutions for the future, both globally and locally, make her designs truly visionary. As she summed up in our interview, “The a.d.o. woman is at one with her community, active, and wants the very best for her family, her surroundings, and her body and soul.”
Learn more about Anjelika’s collaborations, outreach work, and support of organizations like UNICEF, Women for Women International, and South East Asian Woman’s Creative here.
All images courtesy of a.d.o. clothing and the designer.