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April 21 2014

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1 posts tagged "Geoff Dyer"

Maiyet’s Movies

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The Geoff Dyer novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is made up of two not exactly connected halves. In the first part, the titular Jeff performs his quasi-professional duties as an art writer making the rounds at the Venice Biennale, i.e., party-going, swilling free drinks, and mingling with the beautiful and fabulous. The novel’s second half, meanwhile, follows an unnamed protagonist, Jeff perhaps, as he wanders, mostly on his own, through the ancient Indian city of Varanasi. Last night’s party in London for Maiyet weirdly merged the two halves of Dyer’s novel. On the one hand, the NOWNESS-hosted shindig had everything a scene-maker could ask for, what with free Champagne (and food, to boot), a performance by Josephine and Alexandre de la Baume’s band, Singtank, and name-drop-worthy attendees like Felicity Jones and Tallulah Harlech. And the Varanasi of it all was amply represented by Maiyet founders Paul van Zyl and Kristy Caylor, who spoke to the assembled crowd about their company’s mission to incorporate rare artisanal skills into their clothes, and specifically about their jacquard production based in…Varanasi. “It’s one of those places that changes you,” Caylor noted, affirming Dyer’s read on the city. “I almost don’t even know how to describe it.”

Varanasi isn’t the only place Maiyet has laid down roots. The brand also has a presence in Kenya, which provided the setting for the series of short films director Cary Fukunaga (who also directed Jane Eyre) made for its Resort 2013 collection. The debut of a re-edited version of the vignettes, which combine them into one short film, served as the occasion for last night’s festivities. “We really just love to work with creative people,” Caylor said when asked if she and van Zyl were planning any future film productions. “That could be a weaver in a small town somewhere, or it can be someone like Cary. I think our next collaboration could be a piece of music, or anything really. It could take any form.”

Photo: Courtesy of NOWNESS