In conversation with Australian designer and curator Lakshmi Pillai, who founded the eponymous boutique


Saaki, which means “one” in Sanskrit, started four years ago as a small pop-up store in Australia. Lakshmi Pillai, the Indian-born owner of the store tucked away on Queen Street in sydney, and who has since changed the store’s name to Lakshmi, dreamed of bringing her experience growing up around handwoven textiles to the corner shop. “Having lived in Africa and India, I grew up with craftsmanship,” says the creator of collections focused on light-as-air craftsmanship and curator of Indian design for the Australian and world woman. “To me, fashion felt fast and I wanted to showcase a few favorite collections that are special and can stay in your wardrobe forever,” she continues. “Pieces that can be shared with family and cherished. Inspire and Present Indian textiles is a privilege.

Photographed by Gourav Ganguli

Think linen dresses that settle on your skin whether you’re in Sydney, Delhi or London. green and gold chanderi skirts which are quite assertive but mutable and three-piece suits made of wool and cotton in the bylanes of Jodhpur— a slice of home on your back, even when you’re miles away.

“Connection is everything,” says the 44-year-old designer who accidentally discovered her grandmother’s precious sarees during a recent sourcing trip to India. “I have always kept elements of meaning in my house. I saved some of my favorites saris that remind me of his power throughout his day.


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