Alamkrita brings ready-to-wear clothes, fabrics, temple jewellery and painted pots under one roof

Alamkrita is back with more than a couple of goodies this time — designer saris, dress materials, frocks for children, temple and costume jewellery, cloth bags and some curious pottery. Conducting its 27 exhibition in the city, Alamkrita has always been about bringing together women entrepreneurs, says Sudha Balachandran, the organiser. Though initially, it had only home-makers passionate about doing business, this time around, they have included Jimmy Johns, who sells designer pots.

Nine stalls in all showcase their ware including ready-to-wear kurtis and night-wear. If it is fabrics, there is plenty to choose from, starting from cotton, silk and jute to their many variations. Designer saris come in fancy colours — fluorescent as well as sober shades with elaborate borders in net and satin. A choice of dress materials (both daily-wear and party-wear) is available. Night clothes in soft white cottons, with embroidery and smocks, and cotton frocks for children are a special attraction.

Tradition with innovation

Temple jewellery fans can rejoice, as the collection includes traditional patterns as well as innovative designs. Sudha Balachandran, who has been conducting a business in temple jewellery for over 14 years, says she has always had a dedicated clientele. She sources it from Nagercoil, which has artisans specialising in this craft. The ornaments made of silver, dipped in gold, can be handed down generations, Sudha says.

Maintenance, however, is the only concern. “They tend to darken, especially in humid conditions. But if they are wrapped in cotton cloth and kept in wooden boxes, they can retain their sheen,” she says. The collection includes earrings, neck pieces and bangles. Temple jewellery is slightly more expensive compared to costume jewellery because of the workmanship it involves. “It is a dying art that needs to be preserved,” Sudha says. A fairly ornate set can come at Rs. 3,000.

Jimmy’s pots can easily be the highlight of the exhibition. He employs his artistry to great effect on large and small pots. Jimmy gets the pots custom-made and tries out his experimental painting on them. While many of them are fashion-inspired, Jimmy says no two pots would be similar. One of his pots, which had a smiling Will Smith and an equally cheerful Barack Obama, was sold recently for Rs. 8,800. A copy of this pot is on display. “This is perhaps the only design I’ve repeated,” Jimmy says.

The exhibition is on at BTH till July 6 (from 9.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.)