The thing about working with fabulous textiles is that it can get overwhelming really fast. After a while, it’s hard to differentiate between one spectacular piece and another. So, we set about parsing out our spaces and thinking about the most important elements of Lao textiles: the incredible techniques, the master artisans, and the mythical legends.
With this in mind, and guided by a “less is more” philosophy—and a healthy dash to wabi-sabi or imperfection is beautiful—we rolled up our sleeves and re-organised our two shops in town: Heritage Collection and The Boutique. We challenged ourselves to reuse, recycle and repurpose old furniture, baskets and materials. And, we thought hard about how to present our textiles and handicrafts in the most natural, un-complicated way possible.
The fresh garden space is a perfect spot to chill at the Silk Road Café in town.
Loong Tai, our in-despensible carpenter and all-around-go-to-problem solver, rustled up broken bamboo benches and unused pieces of wood to create mod stands for showing-off vintage wedding blankets. Young handyman and driver Ouan found unused spools of rope, twine and hooks and bamboo dowels and help fashion cool hanging displays for the amazing “Story of Laos’ tapestries from Houaphan Province. Our co-founder Veo raided her mother’s stash of vintage lacquer and silver containers, classic heddles and centuries-old weaving combs, imbibing the space with old word, heritage atmosphere.
At the Boutique, we resuscitated old metal hexagonal light fixtures and discarded Alcapulco chairs and end up with mod, effortlessly cool decor. It helps accentuate our fashion, accessories and home collections which combine heritage skills with modern design.
At the Heritage Collection’s courtyard, we trimmed back the undergrowth and unearth unused terra-cotta pots and filled them with blooming tropical flowers and herbs. The fresh garden space is a perfect spot to chill at the Silk Road Café in town.
Next up: reimagining the stories in Lao textiles. We are working on new signs and “playing cards” to help our staff tell you the stories told in Lao weavings. Stay tuned …