Gandhi Charkha jackets and many other fashion statements made by reviving ancient traditions and threads were on display at the recently held Dastkaar Bazaar in Chennai. Increasingly Chennai’s designers and stylists are harking back to yesteryear crafts and methods to add a unique touch to their creative lines.
Designer Kiiran Valentine says, “Ambar Charkha cloth is very popular among my high-end male clientele. I make hand spun shawls with neon strips and print on fabrics for jackets from materials I source from the Khadi and Village Industries.”
“I also like using Paithani brocade for men’s jacket sleeves and for women’s wrap around skirt’s waistband,” smiles the 22-year-old designer who is scorching Chennai’s fashion ramps.
Designer Richa Goenka has a unique concept when it comes to playing with the modern elements against iconic crafts ruling for centuries. Her idea is to infuse the intricate Persian origin traditional zardousi which has appealed widely across Middle East, India, Pakistan and many other countries, into the ultra contemporary drape sarees and long jackets known to set a style statement when paired with a Lehenga or a saree underneath.
The designer who has explored the combination of Lucknow Chikan work on sleeves of kurta, on lehenga, shares how a twist to the traditional is also required to keep with the moods of modern times.
“These twists come in the assymetrical positioning of the motifs. For an instance, going against the familiar positioning of Bruta work in the chest area, near the left pocket on kurta or shirt, we will bring the artwork in offcentre places like near the waist or one corner of the kurta or on tip of the collar,” details Richa.
Zeeshan Tariq of “Rug Weave” leaves no stone unturned to enlighten people on the beauty carpets alone can give to even a very simple home. Commenting on how the popular belief should not be only rich households get to be carpeted, Zeeshan spreads good vibes. “We’re trying to bring back the carpet culture and this bubble needs to be burst that carpets are only for rich people. We try and educate people who visit our shop, on the nitty-gritty of the embroidery we have on our carpets. We have classical designs which include Kashan, Kerman embroidery which we import from weavers in Iran and Kashmiri work which we receive from our Kashmiri weavers while we get the classical’s contemporary counterparts from Central India.”
Lavanya Shivshankar of Swa, which is into bridal and fashionwear, has a different approach altogether. “It all depends on the theme of the wedding, the jewellery used and of course the time of the day.
Recently I had a client who chose to opt for Dasavathaaram jewellery and to keep in tune, I went placing Shankha and Chakra on either sleeve of her blouse." Unusual positing of the traditional design gives out a renewed style statement, echoes Lavanya....