At Porte Mode, we believe in educated consumption. We’re not just any other online store. We feel the the value of a product can only be truly acquired by learning the story behind it, the designer's inspiration, the elaborate techniques used, and the many hours of labor that have gone into creating it. Probably one of the most popular items in our collection is Indian designer Nachiket Barve's mini Moko dress. It is a very special product for many different reasons, with the most intriguing one being Nachiket’s inspiration.
While living in New Zealand, Nachiket was drawn to the rich history and culture of the nation, particularly its original settlers, the Maoris, who came to the island many centuries ago. They were initially warriors who lived off land and used natural resources to survive. The women within the tribe filled the position of both warriors and nurturers, drawing a fine line between toughness and femininity. Nachiket was fascinated by their fearful costumes and facial tattoos. The “Ta Moko” tattoos marked the skin of the Maori as a form of identification. The traditional method of creating tattoos used chisels to engrave the skin and ink to permanently mark it.
In order to remain respectful of the Maori heritage and the sanctity of their body art, Nachiket abstracted the patterns in his designs, which were based on the original Moko tattoos. The Moko dress was created using fine embroidery on flesh and colored fabric to give a “trompe l’oeil” tattoo effect and represents bravery, courage and confidence.