Pleated and linen saris?

When you begin, you begin with ABC. And though established Kochi based designer, Hari Anand needs no beginning in fashion his latest collection is surprisingly called Alphabets, 2011. It will be showcased at a preview on December 4 at Gokulam Convention Centre, where top national models will catwalk the collection. It is Season 3 for the designer with FTV and the ensemble is a collaboration with New York based caricaturist and illustrator, Patti Stren.

The six yards turn absolute chic in the collection. The linen sari makes a novel appearance. Shirts, trousers, skirts in linen are what this fabric has seen so far and now comes Hari's original take on it- as a sari. “The fabric is imported and has precise digital prints on it. When draped it falls gracefully and weighs just 90 gms.”

Enhancing the material are Patti Stren's playful prints. “A new openness has come to stay in the world,” says Hari about the naughty prints, which blend humour, fun and mischief. After all fashion is about the times and this collection is truly with it. Stren, whose first venture with Anand saw raffish illustrations on dating and flirting tips, carries the theme ahead in this collection too. The haute linen saris make perfect cocktail wear.

Pleated sari

The sari finds another new avatar in his second experiment where 18 metres of diaphanous georgette fabric have been pin tucked and pleated to gorgeous effect. The final garment is simply fabulous. The saris in this collection are in ivory, cream, beige, tan, each with a richly embroidered border with sequins, gara (Parsi embroidery), petite point, beads, Swarovski crystals and rhinestones. The embellishments have been used tastefully and dexterously to a final stunning effect.

“It is a western concept,” says Hari about these pleated, classy saris which are priced at Rs. 35,000. The sophistication comes from the artistry in pleating the fabric in varied breadths, “by playing with the size of pleats.” Georgette is rich by itself and gets richer by surface enhancements that the pin tucks offer. Satin strips placed judiciously on georgette add gloss to the matt texture adding to the overall effect.

Chantilly lace saris with crystal embellishments too will be sashayed by models like Candice Pinto, Pragya Jaiswal and Meenakshi Khari. Along with saris is a stylish menswear collection showcasing evening wear range of tuxedos. Linen shirts and dinner jackets with the designer touch are in the ensemble too.

Hari Anand's store Glada has been the centre of high fashion in the city for nearly a decade and a half. He has seen fashion change and evolve here. When all was quiet on this front, he literally trudged a lonesome furrow but today the city has changed and there are takers for his brand of international style. Did he ever feel isolated in trends and style here? No, pat comes the reply. Hari has remained here creating quality global styles. “My idea of fashion is if you wear a designer outfit and travel anywhere you should not feel out of place. You must feel at ease,” says Hari about his concept of designer wear.

Dismayed by Fashion Weeks he says that they are focussing not on creativity but on merchandising. And the designer is proud of the fact that his entire oeuvre emerges from his city of Kochi, not a citadel of fashion but a small city where he is creating garments of international class. His work, he says, is a result of “constant research.” And coming to his present collection, he explains the name Alphabets, “it is a total reincarnation of a personality.” So one has to start from scratch, you gather and so ABC… And Hari truly knows the ABC of the sari.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 3:12:44 PM |

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