Holi-Inspired Photoshoot from Polli

by Grace Bonney

Earlier this year when we were planning posts for the spring, we knew we wanted to do something special to recognize Holi, the beautiful Hindu festival of colors celebrated each spring. I first heard about Holi during an episode of An Idiot Abroad in which Ricky Gervais sends his friend Karl Pilkington to India to experience a number of different festivals. Karl is routinely showered in powdered paint pigments, and you can see just how exuberant people are about the festival and being able to spread colors everywhere — and on everyone. I’ve always loved learning about different cultures’ traditions and wanted to celebrate the vivid colors used during Holi, so we have a few DIY ideas coming up tomorrow that incorporate those gorgeous powdered pigments. But first I wanted to share this fun photoshoot from the designers at Polli, who were inspired by traditional Holi colors for their new look book.

The Polli team created a plastic-covered photoshoot space where they got to “color bomb” themselves — and the space — to create dramatic photos for their new collection. The photos of cloud pigments mid-air were used for their new line of jewelry (below). Amy and I really wanted to do this exact same process but gave up when we realized it would be too messy for our space (we’re already up to our ears in glitter and paint residue). So looking at these photos was like living my dream vicariously. Thanks to the Polli team for sharing them. You can check out their new collection online here. xo, grace

More images and the new jewelry collection from Polli continue after the jump . . .

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  • Fun pictures, and such a coincidence. I am reading A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, and yesterday read a wonderful scene of Holi antics. I had never heard of it before, and now twice in two days.

  • So great to see Polli on D*S. We love love love Polli here in Sydney, go girls ! How much fun does that shoot look, but I am not going to show my kids this post or we could be in trouble unless I hide our eco pigment paints :) Can’t wait to see what other Holi inspired ideas you have for us Grace.

  • OMG! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post. Holi is one of the most important festival in India and people from india celebrate it no matter where they are. They use talc powder or turmeric in case don’t find the proper powder which is called gulal to celebrate this festival. These shoot pictures are so much full of fun and energy which is what holi is about. Thanks again. :) and happy holi :))

  • Does anyone know where I can purchase the photos with the powder against the white backdrop? Or something similar?

  • LOVE! Gosh I forgot it was holi season, miss India.! Every human being has to experience the beauty of holi atleast once in their lives. The powdered pigments are called Rangoli and are available to buy online at places like amazon but are much cheaper in Indian stores

  • What an awesome day job! Well done to the Polli team, I’m rocking a fab ring of theirs that gets so many compliments. Loved in Melbourne!

  • I had a Polli necklace that was one of about five things stolen from me in a burglary a couple of years ago. I replaced it because I missed it so much. I really like their stainless steel stuff.

  • If you love these powdered pigments you should do the Color Run. I did it in Brooklyn last year, it’s a 5k where you are doused in different colored powders as you run. It was such a crazy fun experience- my favorite part was the finish line, where they have hundreds of people all empty packets of powder at once. It blocks out all the light from the sun!

  • Wow! I didn’t believe this at first! Holi being featured on DS! and the unique inspiration that comes from Polli.. That is a special treat now..
    love, kav

  • These images are absolutely beautiful and energetic. Scrolling down the page and seeing the photo of the process behind how the images were captured was such an added treat. This led me to think about how knowing the process behind a work can add such depth and greater appreciation. It would be neat to see posts on the processes that lie behind finished works of artists, crafters, designers? (I’m sure you are up to your ears in ideas already, but just in case you’re looking for ideas, or in the rare event that this hasn’t already crossed your minds…) Especially with the nature of viewing art online prone to being like skimming images for eye candy (I’m guilty too!) more than really examining a work, getting a “behind the scenes” or “in process” look could add a dimension to the 2-d nature of the online format.