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Updated: February 23, 2012 17:44 IST

Style and synchrony

T. KRITHIKA REDDY
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Natural linen embroidered kurta with linen pleated trousers. Photo: Special Arrangement
Natural linen embroidered kurta with linen pleated trousers. Photo: Special Arrangement

A quick-five with designer Divyam Mehta, who's new line “Silent Flute” whispers subtlety

Fragile kantha leaves woo full-bodied phulkari blooms. Natural sturdy linen romances mill-made wispy chiffon. Subtle oatmeal courts vivid turmeric and chilli hues… To New Delhi-based Divyam Mehta, design is about creating harmony using contrasting elements.

“Silent Flute”, his intriguingly titled new collection, that's being unveiled at Collage Greams Road today, displays the designer's dexterity in handling contrasts. A fabric associated with dapper luxury, linen hits the versatile route this time round. Tunics, kurtas and jackets in restrained tones come with linen pleated trousers and dhoti pants. Adding beautiful finishing touches are the silk bandini stoles. ‘Stitched' saris with trousers and finely embroidered blouses add an interesting touch to the collection. Some of the saris have intricate smocking on the pallu!

In a chat preceding his Chennai showing, the Pearl Academy alumni talks about his new line and creative instincts…

ALL ABOUT HARMONY The collection is understated. Yet, when you see and feel it, it brings instant happiness — it's like listening to good music. Imagine listening to a flute recital by Hariprasad Chaurasia. ‘Silent Flute' is a study in contrasts. It's about mixing disparate elements and discovering harmony. The exuberant burst of embroidery on the yoke and the pockets offset the bland tones of the natural linen that I've used for the tunics and tops. The contrasts don't stop with colours. It continues through silhouettes and even the crafts as I've mixed various embroidery traditions. I've used lots of linen voiles and some georgettes and chiffons for this collection.

WHAT? STITCHED SARI? It's for today's women who don't want to be burdened by yards of fabric. The stitched sari has a flared trouser as the base. It has a fully embroidered blouse and a pallu with interesting accents. Besides linen, I've also used chiffons to create this fusion of silhouettes.

VISUAL OVERDRIVE I hate it when clothes look too busy. My cuts are simple and I hardly go for the over-embellished look. I guess this is what got my work noticed when I first showed at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in 2010. Embroidery is usually used as highlights on unfussy fabrics.

JOURNEY SO FAR I had a head-start in fashion when I passed out of the Pearl Academy with the ‘Most avant-garde Designer'. Exposure to different handloom traditions came when I worked with an export house in New Delhi. I wanted to get acquainted with the business of fashion. So I went to the London College of Fashion to study fashion marketing. Then I came up with a men's line (that I continue to do only for my New Delhi clientele) before launching my eponymous label five years ago.

DESIGNS ON FUTURE I want to try out various finishes and textures with our handloom. I work extensively with weavers from Benares and South India. As a first step in this direction, I launched a line of snakeskin jackets. Yes Benares jacquards with snakeskin finish. I created jackets and bandgalas in tonal charcoal, bronze and copper. They are a big hit. I'm geared up for more such experiments.

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