Six yards of elegance

Saris from Rema Kumar's new collection, 'For the love of saris'   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Designer Rema Kumar’s caller tune is ‘Vande Matharam’. As it turns out, the song couldn’t have been more apt, for Rema’s new collection of saris, dupattas and stoles is truly a microcosm of India’s vibrant textile tradition. In Rema’s own words: “Each sari in my collection is a mix and match of the weaving traditions of two or three states, woven in another state and detailed in yet another.” Rema, who is based in Delhi, is back in the city, her hometown, for the third year in a row, exhibiting her collection, labelled ‘For the love of saris’. Here’s a sneak peek.

THE RANGE: This year I’m bringing malmals with batik prints and soft cottons from Ponduru, Andhra Pradesh. There are Bafta tussar cottons, all-weather saris, made of tussar in warp and cotton in weft, and Kota Silks, which I have found to be the closest handloom to have the feel and fall of chiffons. Saris in tussar dupion blends from Chhattisgarh have a softer fall than regular tussars. Another highlight is airy Uttarakhand cotton twills, made by a group of women weavers in Ukimath near Kedarnath. They have used the craft of weaving woollen and silk shawls to make the saris and the result is cotton saris, hand-woven in a similar twill and herringbone weave in natural dyes and bright azo dyes. I also have Maheshwaris and Chanderis from Madhya Pradesh. I have tried to keep the weaving tradition intact, while giving them my own contemporary twist. All the saris can be worn as occasion wear or casual wear.

MY MUSE: That would be the saris themselves. A lot has changed in the last 10 years, with the sari becoming more of an occasion wear than a daily wear option. As such, there are very few takers for handloom saris because everybody just wants over the top stuff. My 12-year-old daughter, Yassaswini, wants to wear saris because she sees me wearing them. However, that’s not the case with many of her generation. That’s why I believe that it’s important to lead by example and show them the beauty, variety, versatility and elegance of the sari.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL: I love using block prints on the saris, especially in geometric patterns, which has been used in several of the saris, both in silk and cotton. Chanderi saris have been detailed with shibori work and batik from the Kutch region of Gujarat. I’m also a huge fan of Kantha work in saris and stoles. Kota silks come with Benarasi pallus, embroidered motifs, Kalamkari, and brocade trimmings and so on. There is another range of Kota silks hand-blocked with Kalamkari prints of unusual motifs, from Pedana in Machilipatnam. I’ve also used hand embroidery such as Kutch work, ajrakh, batik and dori work, which can be teamed with any sari to add a dash of glamour. In some, I have also used machine embroidery to highlight patterns and/or weaves.

COLOUR PALETTE: I have saris in off white, black and white, pastels, batiks in indigo, and just about in every bright and vibrant colour!

The exhibition and sale is on October 17 and 18 at Women’s Club, Kowdiar, 10.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices for the saris begin at Rs. 2,500. All the saris come with matching blouses. There are also a range of ready-made designer blouses and a limited selection of blouse pieces and jewellery.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 8:29:49 AM |

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