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Friday Close-Up: Masala Baby

Had enough of the snow? Masala Baby will have your thinking spring. Dipali Patwa is the President and designer behind this colorful collection of kids' clothing. Modern, spirited, with the essence and traditions of India, this new line of pint-sized fashions caught our attention when we craved a break from boring black and gray. We've got the scoop on the inspiration and aspirations of Dipali.

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Tell me about the inspiration behind the colors in masala baby?Masala, transliterated, is a combination of unique ingredients to create a surprising result - a pinch of turmeric, a dash of cloves, a sprig of saffron, and a handful of rose petals provide the inspiration for our signature "spice" colors, all beautifully layered as in the threads of this new collection. They were inspired by my roots in India; delicious curries, authentic spices, bollywood movies, beautiful marigold flowers, traditional indian roses, pink stone architecture, colors of the chaotic bazaars all blended together to create a unique palette. Kids respond to color instinctively. The rhapsodic use of color in India in brightly painted streets, mosaics of the palaces, the vivid hues of the women's sarees, the variety of spices used in Indian cooking and the exuberance of Indian festivals, the Indian love of color is celebrated in every facet of daily life. India's textile tradition is a kaleidoscope of colors and cultures.

I love the images on the web. Who did your photography? My friend and an incredible photographer- Franco Vogt of Woodstock Picture Studio did all the photography.

Where do you find your yummy models? They are delicious, aren't they! They all have been my inspiration along with my main inspiration, my son Elan. Some of them are his friends and couple of them that Franco was able to scout for us up in Woodstock for what we needed for the brand

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What are the most popular styles from the spring line? Gypsy Raani Dress, Raani Medallion Tunic Dress, White Peacock Tunic, Desert Camel Stripe Tunic, Evening Sun Stripe Tunic, Dev Embroidered Tunic, Folk Skirt

What does the name mean? Masala, transliterated, is a combination of unique ingredients to create a surprising result. It is mainly used for spices when they are blended together to create an incredible flavor and aroma. It is also used to describe bollywood films which mixes various genres in one film- action, comedy, romance, musical all in one film.

For Masalababy, a pinch of turmeric, a dash of cloves, a sprig of saffron, and a handful of rose petals provide the inspiration for our signature "spice" colors. It is a mix of all things wonderful that come together in its own unique fashion.

Where do you live and what do you love about your neighborhood?We live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. We love the fact that the neighborhood is ethnically diverse, culturally vibrant with lovely local boutiques, cafes and restaurants that are all very kid friendly. We like the combination of urban, cosmopolitan attitude with a neighborhood vibe

Favorite place for a cultural nyc playdate? Prospect Park summer time concerts that gives us a wide variety of music, dance, theater, film to experience from around the world in a wonderful outdoor relaxed atmosphere. Events at BAM- Brooklyn Academy of Music.

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What are you working on next? For 2010 our key focus will be to enhance the Masala Baby brand and establish a greater retail presence with the launch of our new Fall 2010 line that includes two new collections.

The first is called 'Mela', inspired by the Indian village fairs. Mela is the Hindi word for 'gathering or village fair. The line is inspired by wandering gypsies, fortune tellers, colorful caravans, medallions and peacock feathers which set the mood for our patterns and colors. The cuts and designs are earthy, comfortable yet chic, catering to the new age young traveler that appreciates the simplicity and wonder of life.

The second collection called 'Mod Masala' is urban, modern and casual using our signature prints and unique applique techniques. We are introducing 'khadi' which is indian homespun, handwoven fabric within this collection. Its natural properties keeps this fabric cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Mahatma Gandhi promoted the production of khadi in his movement to revive India's domestic weaving industry. This fabric is close to my heart for its aesthetic appeal as well as the small scale industry that it supports back in India.

Masala baby is also proud to collaborate with aden + anais (australian swaddle company) on the introduction of 'Mela' bamboo muslin wraps. Mela is inspired by the fun and festivities of indian village fairs. Motifs such as marigold flowers, medallion inlay and the beautiful peacock feathers unfold on to these soft to touch bamboo wraps. The distinct aesthetic of Masala Baby and use of signature spice colors capture the brilliance of everyday life!

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