Find pieces to make up a great travelling wardrobe is often a case of serendipity, coming across something by accident that will be the perfect thing to jazz up a plain outfit, pack easily, not need too much attention, be uncrushable, and dry easily if it needs to be washed.
The other thing I like to look for are clothes or accessories that have some meaning, and say something about either where I come from or where I’ve been. So I was really happy to hear about a new range called Mainie, which is produced in Far North Queensland. And I was even happier when the lovely people at Mainie sent me a sample – a beautiful silk scarf – to add to my wardrobe.
This is a new Australian label, consisting of silk scarves, wraps and tops, featuring authentic Aboriginal designs. Launched online and in select retail stores in August, Mainie’s first collection has 12 designs, all featuring hand-painted Aboriginal artworks by Warlpiri women artists of the Tanami Desert region of central Australia. The silk fabrics come from China’s Silk Road, and the designs and colours are varied enough that there are plenty of choices.
“As a piece of wearable art that bears ancient Dreamtime stories preserved and shared by Australia’s Aboriginal peoples, Mainie makes a meaningful gift that can also be worn a multitude of ways depending on the wearer’s creativity. Drape, wrap, tie and knot as an accessory for casual flair or night time glamour,” says Mainie’s creator and founder, Charmaine Saunders.
“As a travel companion, I absolutely love my Mainie scarves – they are hard to beat; reducing to nothing in hand luggage while providing a versatile ‘covering’ that will also ‘refresh’ an outfit within seconds.”
And so I didn’t have to just take her word for it, the lovely Charmaine promptly popped one in the post to me (and for online buyers, postage is free to anywhere in Australia). It arrived beautifully boxed, and included was a provenance that underscores its ethical, Free Trade policies. All artworks have been acquired ethically under license through the internationally acclaimed Warlukurlangu Art Centre.
My scarf is the Rainbow Serpent design, in a gorgeous turquoise, with a bright border. The design is by artist Portia Napanangka Michaels and depicts the story of Lappi Lappi, a permanent fresh water source in the rocks on Warlpiri country and home of mythical rainbow serpent Warnayarra.
These scarves are also terrific because they are so large – 140cm x 140cm – which means you can wear them in a wide range of ways, depending on your creativity.
And with Christmas just around the corner, this is a great option for gift-buying. I certainly felt like Christmas had come early! As well as scarves, there are silk tops, sarongs and capes to choose from.
Mainie’s range is available online at www.mainie.com or – if you happen to be in Cairns – from Discover and Discover Indigenous at Cairns Airports and Evert Fine Jewellery in Cairns, on the corner of Abbott and Spence Streets. You can also find them at the Discover Store at Melbourne International Airport.
A Glass Half Full’s scarf was a gift from Mainie.