A New Twist On Sarongs

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Sarongs. In your mind you see; white sand beaches, glittering aqua water, leisurely days and tall rum-flavored drinks. The sarong, the ultimate casual cover-up for the island lifestyle. Now, think again. In AmericaÂ?s Caribbean, the Florida Keys, an artist has transformed the sarong into something different.

Think Sarongs. In your mind you see; white sand beaches, glittering aqua water. Leisurely days and tall rum-flavored drinks. At nite, the breeze off the ocean cools your sun-warmed skin. The sarong--the ultimate casual cover-up for the island lifestyle.

Sarongs are the indigenous form of dress for both men and women in tropical climates all over the world. While each culture has a different name--from Pareo to Sari-- they are all simply yards of fabric wrapped and tied on the body. Sarongs are every day clothing worn to work in the rice paddies and to do the daily chores as they allow for a full range of body movement.

Now, think again. In America’s Caribbean, the Florida Keys, an artist has transformed the sarong into something different.

Wrapped Up In Sarongs

“It was a cold, grey, New York winter. I was at a crossroads, I needed something different.” Jasmine Sky, artist/owner of The Dreaming Goddess (http://www.thedreaminggoddess.com), thinks back to the beginning. “Totally frustrated with life I asked, no I demanded something better from the universe, and over the next year various pieces of my life all came together.”

With her two cats, a bolt of silk and paint Jasmine grounded just north of Key West and The Dreaming Goddess began to flow. Bringing together her background as a designer and professional dancer Jasmine began to update the sarong for the modern woman—and to take it from the casual wrap to sensuous evening attire.

Seduced by Silk

Silk, once reserved soley for royalty is Sky’s fabric of choice. “Silk captivates people. Feelings change when you wear it. It’s more sensual, more luxurious,” Sky says. Each Dreaming Goddess sarong is hand-painted on one of four types of silk. “There are many types of silk and weights, but I concentrate on four; habotai for its lightweight billowy effect, charmeuse for its weighted, luxurious drape and buttery-soft feel, organza for its sheerness and silk gauze for its stretch, which is perfect for bandeau’s, turbans and head wraps.”

There are other reasons silk has been treasured throughout history—and why the Chinese nobility sought to keep silks magic for themselves. In hot conditions silks moisture-wicking keeps you cool. This hypo-allergenic fabric soothes skin sensitivities and wards off further tissue-sensitive issues that may be exacerbated by wearing other fabrics. There’s a mystical edge to silk too—the Bombyx mori moths spin these divine threads in the symbol of infinity—the sideways figure 8. For centuries silk has been prized for its ability to filter out negative energy—which is why the tradition of wrapping sacred objects in silk exists.

A Plus for Plus Sizes

“A Dreaming Goddess sarong is more generous than a commercially-produced sarong. A full 2.5 yards allows the sarong to drape more luxuriously. Larger Goddesses can order a sarong a full three yards wide, or longer. This gives you the ability to wrap the sarong twice for an elegant straight skirt as well as the flexibility for more wrapping options.” These more generous sarongs keep you cooler too on hot tropical nites by allowing for more air flow.

Sky’s sarongs include the Mermaid Sarong, the Sea Nymph Sarong/Sash/Shawl and Yemanja Sarong Ensemble. This ensemble includes a top piece which works as a bra under dress wraps. Confused about wrapping options? Sky offers a sarong-wrapping guide “44 Ways To Tie One On” for sale on her site http://www.thedreaminggoddess.com

Sky has taken the concept of sarong dressing to resort wear. Like the sarongs her resort wear is custom made and available in 4 silk types, 12 textile designs and all the colors of the rainbow. The Resort Wear line ranges from dresses such as Dress for Venus and Athena’s Gown, to pants, Hipployta’s Palazzo & Harem Pants, to tunics; Guinevere’s Tunic, as well as including tops, skirts, shorts and capes and jackets. Visit The Dreaming Goddess Boutique at http://www.thedreaminggoddess.com to see the modern sarong.

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Jasmine Sky