Vastra: Dream-inspired designs

The yarn is no mere thread; it is a cord that binds us to our roots. Textiles are not mere yardage, into them are woven our cultural ethos and economic aspirations. The colours represent the myriad shades of the Indian landscape and lifestyle. And our dreams inspire the designs. Vastra Utsav that opens today at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Centre, Santhome, is the essence of all this and more.

It’s a celebration of the traditional in a contemporary style. So, even western wear is incorporated with Indian elements. Of course, for those who swear by the timeless elegance of saris and salwar kameezes, the choices are aplenty.

Presented by Friends of DakshinaChitra, a support group that assists the famed centre of arts and crafts (based in Muttukadu) in its various activities, the proceeds from this event will also go towards funding DakshinaChitra’s cultural initiatives.

“This group was set up 18 years ago inspired by ‘Friends of Museum’ in the West. After all, DakshinaChitra is a heritage museum that today features prominently on the city’s tourist map and requires continuous support to organise its widening repertoire of activities. Every year, we also honour a folk performer with the lifetime achievement award,” says Usha Balaji Moorthy, an active member of the group and an organiser of Vastra Utsav.

This much-talked about textile fair is an annual event that takes forward DakshinaChitra’s vision of reviving the past. “It brings together those who are committed to the cause of handcrafted textiles from across the country,” adds Usha.

This year, Vastra Utsav features names such as Bidisha Bhaduri from Kolkata, Kantha Creations from Pune, Maati Crafts (Mumbai), Needlework Foundation (Bangalore), Reshamwala (Solapur), Tatva (Kolkata) and The Village Shop (Kannur).

According to Usha, most of us have rediscovered the beauty of hand-woven textiles since big and small designers have begun to work closely with weavers, to lend a contemporary edge to the traditional. “It’s heartening to see a large number of craftsmen, who had given up on their family work, due to lack of support and money, taking it up again. In the warp and weft of the handloom trend, they now see a new hope.”

Vastra Utsav will be inaugurated today by acclaimed Bharatanatyam artiste Alarmel Valli and Visalakshi Ramaswamy of M.Rm.Rm. Cultural Foundation. The exhibition is on till August 8 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.). For details call, 98400 74196 or 98410 25166.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 2:04:56 AM |

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