Abraham and Thakore creations balance timeless appeal with modern design sensibilities
The whisper of tissue-thin silk. Gold and silver woven through it. Part of every bride’s trousseau. Product of one of the most ancient cities of India. The Benarasi sari.
Opulent, Intricate. Beautiful.
The New Abraham and Thakore for Ekya collection, collaboration with one of Benares’s most respected weaving house and the more contemporary A&T, manages to create beautiful weaves that balance the timeless appeal of the classic with the soft, understated design sensibilities of an Abraham and Thakore creation.
Talking about the new collection which is showcased at their store on Vittal Mallya Road, designer Rakesh Thakore says, “Our Ikaya collection is a spin off from the autumn winter collection of this year 2013-14. We have worked with Ikaya, a silk manufacturing company based in Benares and have adapted the saris retaining its essential richness.
That is the advantage of working with handloom-you can play with not just colour but with design and texture and adapt several patterns on one sari length,” he says pointing to a brilliant green chequered sari whose checks recede in size as you move up the length.
The language of weaving is a complex one, but Rakesh’s understanding of it is deeply rooted. An alumnus of the National School of Design, Ahmadabad, he worked in the textile field for many years, commissioning them from all over India for exhibitions overseas, “The first one I did was at the Royal College of Arts. From there we moved to Paris, America, Japan, China, Russia, and Italy,” he says.
In 1991, he collaborated with David Abraham, a contemporary from NID and created the Abraham& Thakore Brand which produces both garments and home furnishing, “David and I come from very different backgrounds,” he says, “He is more into fashion — he was doing garments for an American country based out of India.”
With exclusive retail outlets in Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore, presentations at the India Fashion Week, displays at some of the leading stores both in India and internationally and a strong online presence, the brand has certainly grown from its humble beginnings, “Time has just flown by,” says Rakesh. “Our sensibilities are such that we use a lot of Indian techniques.
“We are based in India and it makes sense for us to have our roots grounded here. We adapt a lot of these techniques that are available in terms of craft, weaving techniques from all over the country and we play with that in our various collections that change from season to season.
“Our silhouettes may be European but it incorporates Indian sensibilities as well that we adapt from areas in the country. We work very closely with the Indian craftsman. My previous field of work I interacted with them and have been able to sustain and maintain our relationship with them today.”
On trends for the season he says, “Colour is an important part of the season and colours are always darker in winter. Black is omnipresent but we also have a plum, navy, different shades of red, burnt orange, aubergine, rust and golden yellow adding to the palette.
The fabrics are mostly silk, wool or a blend of both.” He admits that his tryst with Bangalore has been an interesting one, “Bangalore has been a very fulfilling journey. We have a strong following of customers who enjoy our products and sensibilities. When you discover that people really enjoy your offerings it is a great thing,” he says.