Brocade is making a big time fashion statement now

Brocade made a comeback, a while ago. There was the odd brocade patch or the ensemble in the store or maybe an antique brocade sari that was mutilated by a sentimental daughter or granddaughter. But now most retailers and boutiques have varieties of brocades… the synthetics, the fakes, the originals and the antiques.

“Brocades have been in vogue for almost a year now in the north but it is now that it has become such a huge thing here,” says Shalini James of Mantra. Earlier there was the element of kitsch attached to brocade, therefore there were reservations about it since it was traditionally seen as a “wedding” fabric and that too strictly for the bride. It was seen as just too glitzy, shimmery in a gaudy kind of way. But these preconceptions and notions are a thing of the past. Rather than wearing brocade as brocade, the tendency is still to use it as an element for detailing, the odd yoke or the blouse/choli. The reason why, probably, many designer now work with the fabric is that it lends itself to be adapted with several other fabrics as combinations or in combinations.

“I have been designing brocade blouses for the last year-and-a-half and these are very popular. Women, I know, who traditionally wore subtle colours are now wearing more of colours. The popularity of brocades can be attributed to the fact that people dress up more,” says Lata Pottakulam, a designer.

There are “monotones” in terms of being single-colour cholis and then there are patchwork cholis which are extremely high on the oomph quotient. “Classy and elegant outfit will never go out of style these go best with my plain chiffon saris,” says Preeti Shankar.

The one major problem is finding the real thing because there are look-alikes not just in texture but also in look and the motifs. If one were to go by the cost factor a metre of synthetic ‘brocade’ would cost one-tenth the price of the original and not look fake either, excellent for those who want numbers and variety.

SHILPA NAIR ANAND

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