Spearheaded by the very stylish and uber chic Nida Tapal, Pakistan’s fashion brand Delphi carries a unique signature – combining high fashion with the traditional craft of handwoven crochet on silk. Made by the highly skilled and creative women of Kashmir and Punjab, these ensembles play with structure, fabric and colour to re-define glamour through cultural heritage. An avid traveller, here Tapal chats with us about travelling, how it inspires her work and what keeps her flying high.
What kind of a traveller are you? Spontaneous or a proper planner?
With two school-going children, I am more of a planned traveller.
What kind of trips do you enjoy most? Short getaways or long holidays?
I prefer short stints as it helps one break away from the daily routine. Since my husband and I both have our work, it’s hard to get away for long holidays.
When on an international trip, what do you prefer to do: sightseeing or shopping?
I like to do a bit of both. If it’s a new city I like to go sight-seeing for sure. In fact I’m quite particular about visiting local hotspots, and museums are a must-see. I reserve the last two days for shopping anywhere I go.
How does travel inspire your work?
When I am travelling for work, I always tend to seek out labels who are doing similar work as us and think of ways in which we can do things differently. When I travel in general, I think about what I would like to wear while on holiday, and see how Delphi could add value. That is how we are able to offer something new to our clients. This process also helps us tremendously in creating our Delphi Resort and Delphi Chic lines, which are very popular amongst our fashionista clients who love to travel with aplomb!
As Delphi commissions crochet work across different parts of Pakistan, how often do you travel domestic?
Our crochet work is commissioned virtually through highly skilled female managers in Islamabad who have been trained by my mother (the founder of this business). Our zardozi and tailoring units are in Karachi which are managed by me. Hence, if I travel locally it’s only to visit my family and not for work – my all-time favourite place to visit in Pakistan is Nathiagali as I have a lot of association with it from my childhood days.
Do you travel light or end up lugging heavy suitcases?
I always travel heavy and end up returning with an even heavier suitcase!
How do you dress for travel? In style or in comfort wear?
Always in stylized comfort wear!
What kind of places are you most likely to travel to or do you like travelling to?
Everyone in my family is a beach person. We all love water sports, and its a great way to bond as a family.
Name your favourite destinations.
I love Sri Lanka for its beaches, cuisine and the gentle nature of its natives; absolutely love Italy, every part of it from the shopping to the food; and Istanbul for its magnificent minarets and the Bosphorus.
What would you recommend as an essential experience from a place you’ve traveled to?
We thoroughly enjoyed staying in the Bellagio, Lake Como and drove around to quaint little towns around the lake. Maldives is also one for the bucket list – I recommend snorkeling with an experienced coach, watching the sting rays being fed. Skydiving over the magnificent Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland has also been a great, exhilarating experience and comes highly recommended – albeit with an experienced diver!
As someone with a keen sense of fashion, do you attach any significance to colour-coordinated luggage and smart travel accessories?
I’ve always appreciated women with colour-coordinated luggage but it’s not essential for me. What matters more to me is what I’ve packed inside – I coordinate my outfits with accessories, by daywear and eveningwear!
How do you kill time over long transit periods? What is your favorite airport activity?
I love to read when I travel and wherever possible, I love to get a shoulder and back massage to shake off the travel fatigue. For large airports, there is never enough time for shopping and scouting – especially for new makeup and sunglasses!
Any interesting travel tales?
On our first night in Maldives, I saw a frenzy in the water below our deck and I realized the fish had disappeared because a baby shark had come into shallow waters. I was told this is a common occurrence and nothing to worry about. Next evening we were all swimming along the beach, I ducked my head inside the water and saw a baby shark swimming in the direction of my kids and their grandfather who were at a distance from me. I had two choices – either scream and panic everyone including the harmless shark into doing something scary, or stay calm and tell the kids to come out of the water as it was getting dark. Luckily the latter strategy worked, but it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life as I grew up in the Jaws era!
Nida’s – Weaving Magic Delphi
Established in 1994 by Nida’s mother, Nargis Kiani, Delphi is a niche brand dedicated exclusively to the ancient craft of crochet – the weaving of thread into intricate patterns. It brings to life the skilled workmanship of local artisans and craftswomen from part of Punjab and Kashmir, and works it into its line of luxe ensembles embellished with pearls, crystals and beads. Every outfit is meticulously crafted by hand and is timeless, classic and one-of-a-kind.