My Tribute To My Nitai
By Mandali Dasi
I invite you to visit my ATELIER website at www.mendrilla.com and view a collection of dresses entitled:
(1980-2012-FOREVER AND EVER)
Recently, in January 2012, as many of you know, I suffered the loss of my husband, Nitai Das. I have therefore chosen to dedicate the most recent collection of haute couture dresses I was working on at that time to him, and to the selfless love that he embodied for me.
The collection is entitled Slave2Love (S2L) and is an expression of the fragile nature of the human form, versus the eternality of indwelling spirit. Inspired by Chuang Tzi’s butterfly metempsychosis, and the eternal wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita, the fluttering organic hand painted silk cloth expresses a longing for attainment of undying worlds within.
The subtle appeal of the stretch cotton jersey base combined with the flow of silken embellishments provide an unusual simultaneous feel of attraction and nurturing as well as a sense of existence in parallel dimensions. Designed and hand crafted for celebrations of the resort and fall seasons, S2L is a tribute to the everlasting flame of love and lifetime dedication of true friends. The basic colors of black and white accentuated with red, yellow, green, violet and blue evoke primeval emotions of affection, awe, hope and excitement providing a playground for a myriad of combinations of the latter thus leaving the lady in the dress enamored with the world in the completeness of its display.
The collection was made in New Vrindavan, USA.
I would like to thank Harinam Dasi for sewing and construction as well as design suggestions, Radhika Patel and Rasikananda Das for photographing and editing the photos, Vishaka Turner and Usa Ramkaree for modeling, Rupanuga das and Vani Dasi for photoshoot accomodation and equipment and Radha Dasi and Vidya Dasi for makeup and hair. I would also like to thank my Nitai for everything and more.
I take this occasion to thank my worldwide Vaishnava family who kept me alive in these trying times.
S2L was originally scheduled to be premiered at the Fall/Winter 2012 Fashion Week. However I have decided not to display this collection on a catwalk, but instead to simply make it available for viewing as art, on my ATELIER website www.mendrilla.com, The release date, April 29th 2012, corresponds with Nitai’s birthday. After this presentation, I will not be exhibiting for the remainder of 2012, instead I will be dedicating this year to preserving and promoting my husband’s legacy project “Krishna Kitchen.”
Keeping with the spirit of my dedication, I have included a brief biography of Nitai’s for those of you who did not know him:
Elisha Drury/Nitai Das, born in Saranac Lake, New York, was an artist, visionary, director of the Krishna Kitchen and founder of the Food for Life Experience non-profit organization.
Elisha spent his life exploring modern art, traveling worldwide, studying the Vedas in India, as well as practicing bhakti yoga under the guidance of his guru Srila Radhanath Swami. Nitai took a vital part in organizing the Krishna Camp at several Rainbow Gatherings as well as Burning Man Festivals together with his friends. In 2007. they organized the first traditional Jagannatha Ratha Yatra at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada which made international news. In 2010 the Krishna camp at Burning Man catered a 12 course Krishna Janmastami feast to 2000 festival goers in the midst of desert survival conditions.
Intrigued by the concept of nurturing the planet with devotional cooking, and inspired by his mentor and guide Yamuna Devi, the author of the award winning cookbook Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, Nitai had dedicated the last few years of his life to sharing the culture of gourmet sacred vegan food called ‘prasadam’ (sanskrit for blessed food). He also founded the Krishna Kitchen, which has become one of the most beloved vegan food vendors, for festival goers throughout the United States.
Tragically, Nitai was in a car accident and passed away this year at the age of thirty one, leaving many stunned by the sudden loss. In his short life he’s touched the lives of many who are now dedicated to continuing the legacy of service that he started.
SLAVE2LOVE premieres April 29th 2012 at www.mendrilla.com
Your humble servant,