Christina Kim & Dosa

So, you know from past posts that my consciousness with food extends to clothes (with the odd lapse), see here and here, for example. I adored the article on the girl-crush-worthy Alys Fowler’s attitude to money last w/end. I identified no end, particularly with her confusion and lack of fun in a ‘new’ clothes shop.

Speaking for myself, it’s most certainly not a denial of beauty. I love beautiful things and even the odd browse for inspiration’s sake, amongst very expensive shops, but I prefer to spend my pennies more wisely, and there’s undoubtedly a more personal connection to be had with items that have been pounced upon in a village fĂȘte, unscrambled from a pile of rags in a charity shop, or sewn together using the remnants of someone else’s dress...

I’m also aware that for some people the idea of rooting through piles of clothes at a jumble sale or entering a charity shop is pure anathema. For these people, may I suggest Dosa. There are plenty of companies, who to my mind, have recently stepped aboard the green wagon but have done little to question the consumerist ethos of ‘buy, buy, buy’ and ‘more, more, more’. In some cases, it’s simply added another layer to consumerism, I must buy it because it’s green. NO!

Dosa is different. It’s been around since the early 80s, quietly crafting clothes and other items, keen to promote and continue ancient crafting traditions, often from remnants, and always with l-o-v-e ... Christina Kim, the company’s owner, like Alys Fowler, is another worthy-girl-crush.

I particularly love how Kim describes when ‘items pass through multiple pairs of hands during their construction, they undergo a “transfer of energy” ... Similarly, she considers the discipline imposed by working with finite resources to be not an impediment but a spur to imagination and inventiveness. Recycling limits you to “essences” she says’. (LA Times: 19/04/09).

Be warned, the clothes aren’t cheap (I’ve picked up my own treasured Dosa pieces on ebay) but as a recent article on Kim pointed out, ‘Something intricately made, yet cheaply priced, means the workers who made them were likely paid very little’. (KoreAm: 01/08/09). I can personally attest that these are clothes designed to be worn year after year, after year, after year ...

Inspired talk on Kim:

‘Kim walks her talk. Home is a small Richard Neutra building in Silver Lake that is perfect in design and function. Everything she needs fits perfectly in this tiny space – there is no excess – no walk-in closets filled with shoes and handbags here. Out of a small kitchen filled with jars of herbs and spices collected in her travels, she cooks exotic vegetables she gets from her friend James Birch, an organic farmer. The food is all colour and texture, and it’s delicious - seriously, like nothing you’ve ever tasted’. (NY Times: 31/10/04).

Inspired talk from Kim:
‘It’s important to understand how things are made, what they cost ... It’s about conscientious production, from beginning to end. We don’t cut corners. We try to think about the final impact we are making’. (KoreAm: 01/08/09).

‘Ultimately it’s the time you spend and relationships you create that make the projects successful. It isn’t the speed of doing things, it is doing things with care and love’. (NY Times: 31/10/04).

Pictures © Dosa and the Los Angeles Times


shell said...

hi Fleur,
so good to catch up on your blog! I haven't read blogs for ages....
hope you're enjoying the lunar radiance and solar lusciousness of these midsummer days! love, shell xxx

Solar Oven said...


Always a pleasure to hear from you, especially now you’re back on the blog(s)! Funnily enough, re. your mentioning of solar lusciousness, I’m currently browsing through a classic 70s book on solar and alternative homes – Design for a Limited Planet – will post up some inspiring quotes and pics soon.

Apart from that, lovin’ the summer energy – plenty of raw sorbets, gardening, sewing and Stirk workshops for me – cutting down on online time and living life!

Fingers crossed I’ll visit Brighton at some point this summer ... but until then have a blissful summer ... Fxxx