India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
April 24, 2017

My Style My Self: Katherine Neumann

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Nayantara Parikh

The Sydney-born, Delhi-based designer behind House of Wandering Silk talks about her home away from home

She tells stories from across India and Asia through her textiles. Her work is influenced by beautiful fabrics and the craftswomen who produce them, and for Sydney-born Katherine Neumann, personal style is dictated by comfort. Her lifestyle label House of Wandering Silk is completely handmade, and this summer, they are looking forward to launching a new clothing collection with Good Earth. After 10 years of living in countries across Asia, she found a base in India, drawn to the richness and diversity of its crafts and skilled artisans.

Wardrobe must-haves
Black jeans, oversized scarves, Birkenstocks.

Secret to style
I keep my clothing simple and wear pieces made from natural and beautiful textiles.

Essentials
My ahimsa silk scarf and a sketchbook. I travel light!

Label love
Antar-Agni, Bungalow 8, Naushad Ali.

Brands to keep an eye out for
The Summer House, India; Arts and Science, Japan; Black Crane, USA.

In your dining room
I have a crazy and bordering-on-obsessive collection of teapots and cups from my travels around the world, hand-thrown pottery from Puducherry, upcycled glasses made from old beer bottles by Green the Gap, and brass cutlery.

In your space
The furniture consists of hand-carved wooden and leather charpoys, coffee tables and chairs from Pakistan and India, which are covered with kantha cushions and woollen throws.

New additions
Vintage ship lighting from Chor Bazaar in Mumbai, a colonial-style cabinet from the second-hand furniture market in Amar Colony, Delhi, and an iron incense burner from Good Earth.

Prized possessions
My art collection is my range of vintage textiles such as a gold-woven lungi from Sindh, Laos-embroidered sarongs, a giant Uzbek suzani and some unusual Syrian robes. The pièce-de-résistance is a handwoven ikat robe from mid 19th-century Uzbekistan that hangs on my wall at home.

On your desk
My Moleskine diary, handmade paper and lots of coloured pencils to sketch out new ideas.

Personal style
My wardrobe holds a mix of hand-me-downs from friends, one-of-a-kind pieces I’ve made from vintage or special textiles, and some high-end items from my favourite Indian designers.

Fabrics you favour
Ahimsa mulberry silk, khadi cotton, handloom pashminas.

Shopping haunts
Bungalow 8 and Chor Bazaar in Mumbai, and Ogaan in Khan Market, Delhi.

Food for thought
Latitude in Khan Market, Delhi — my regular haunt for their goat cheese salad. Gung The Palace Green Park — they have the best Korean food outside of Korea. Coast Cafe in Hauz Khas Village — here you can pretend you’ve escaped the hustle of the city for a while.

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