Woven Stories

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Now I have always been a fan of ‘raw mango’ owing to their use of weaves in unusually traditional way that strikes a perfect balance. For this reason, Sanjay Garg’s show was the one I was looking quite forward too and he pleasantly surprised me for all the right reasons. The use of metallics with unusual sharp tones might not be everyone’s cup of tea (certainly not mine) but it worked in its own way. My favourites would have to be the panelled metallic woven dresses as well as the subtle whites and offwhites combined with metallics in a very relaxed sixties silhouette that worked for me. However there were also floorlengths, contemporary take on choli-gharara with traditional textiles and straighter tunics. The bright pinks, purples and greens played off with metallics in a fun way without resorting the whole thing to the earthy approach towards craft that we are used to seeing. The collection was a weaving justified in a modern day regal setting. Combining the raw appeal with the glam outlook Sanjay Garg balanced the woven craft with contemporary stunning outlook.

For anyone who knows me knows my love for handwoven textiles and Gaurang hits the spot pretty much. Using weaves in bright sharp colors, Gaurang strung them together in a very eastern silhouetted collection. Working with Indian textiles has been his forte and this collection was no different. Combining contrasts and solids, Gaurang worked with a sharp array of colors. With minimal embroidery, he focused more on the weaves in dopattas and Sarees with a combination of solids. A wise move considering how fun those weaves were! While with such sharp colors, there is always a fear of going overboard in the ‘tacky’ territory but Gaurang maintains that balance. Keeping the silhouettes simple, though he did a bit over exaggerate a few of them, he produced a cohesive presentation. The rich weaves in rich colors were complimented with an interesting tassled detail that was present throughout the collection.

The earthy Anavila was everything that you would want from a show that is rooted in traditional woven textiles. Saris with earthy appeal, a rustic presentation in terms of styling and a clean non fussy show, the brand did it all. The collection of cotton and silk saris within an earthen palette was as rustic as is it could get. To top it all they were perfectly complimented by organic jewellery pieces in wooden and metallics. Keeping it simple, the designer played with geomentric motifs within weaves to produce a collection that might be lacklustre for many. Sans any glam, even Konkona made for a perfect showstopper with her earthy Bengali appeal (celebs are you noting how brand should be an extension of your personal style), the collection hit the right chords amongst those who understand the art of woven fabric.

With a modern day Indian woven aesthetic, Gaurav Jai Gupta Akaaro might seemed shy away from the regular ‘Indian-ness’ of the weaves. His global design approach lends him to experiment with the woven craft in a very contemporary way. The result is earthy approaches in simple silhouettes, letting the weaves shine without any drama. While one would like to see something more from Akaaro, someone like me just cannot get enough of the woven fabric. To his credit he almost brings the weaves within his silhouettes in a sort of Indian power dressing with streamlined fronts played up with interesting fabric. Using silks and cotton yarns in simple geometric forms, his play of material with a bit of an unsual color palette scored major brownie points in his presentation. I was not too keen on those clunky shoes though…could have had a better alternative.

The quirky Debashri takes on the delicate Jamdani onto wool for her HOOKED presentation for AW 14. The fish and hook motifs were fun and taking a traditional cotton weave and experimenting with it for a younger audience always draws applause from me (only if done well). Combining luxury and comfort that only rich handwoven textiles can offer, Debashri manages to achieve, by no means a easy feat, of being traditional and contemporary at the same time. Playing with traditional textiles is always a double edged sword and especially with technique and to come out trumps with it is no mean feat (the last I heard Rahul Mishra doing it successfully).Within a winter color palette, the pieces consisted of ‘Woollen knit choli under a choir boy cape, front tie-up pants, boxy printed coat, over-lapping waist cropped pants, loose square kurta and a draw string gathered pleated skirt, knitted one-shoulder cover, a printed poncho and one-shoulder long sleeve creation.’ These silhouettes rendered with the weaving intervention made for a collection that made me want to have certain pieces done up in menswear for myself… ah the wishes of the heart… Definitely keeping a lookout on what she comes up with next coz she definitely got me excited about her design philosophy.

*Image credits: The LFW Team

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