In Ode To Cotton Creations, subtlety meets stunning colours and embellishments

It’s a coming together of summer style and subtle designer elegance, a palette of soft sharbati colours and Mughal ‘jaal’ block motifs of khadi, Kantha and Benares weaves on a canvas of ethereal Kota, Chanderis, mulmuls and cotton muls. Rama Rao’s exhibition Ode To Cotton Creations is about summer couture, everyday wear, and evening glamour.

Rama’s designer touch is unique, in that, it does not overwhelm the subtle loveliness of Kota, Chanderis or mulmul, yet uses embellishments to create a distinct statement. Her craft highlights are dramatic but understated. Leheriya and shibori on Chanderi create stunning pieces. Shaded Chanderis are dressed up with gota lace borders, a subtle scattering of chrysanthemums and nargis in pink, and green ‘khadi’, while pure cottons have white ‘revival’ butties, block-prints of floral fields, silver and gold foil ‘amris’ and so on.

Rama plays around with the dreamy shaded look on mulmuls, cotton muls and Kotas with dramatic effect — peach shading into mustard into deep red set off with gold block-prints, pink shading into green with gota border or the ‘Gayatri mantra’ scripted all over on summery colours... A unique melding of shaded colours with unusual motifs and borders defines Rama’s oeuvre, which also includes tie-and-dye cotton mulls.

Anarkalis and salwar kurtas in soft or jewel tones form part of the collection. The range of kurtas in Chanderis and mulmul feature block-prints, gota work, Kantha embroidery, subtle shading and the drama of Benares weaves to highlight the understated elegance of the fabric. The dupattas come in captivation colours.

(The exhibition is “Ode to Cotton Creativity” is on at No. 27, Khader Nawaz Khan Road till April 20)