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Stop by at The Wanderer and enjoy the ambience of a beautiful old house as you shop for bespoke gold and silver jewellery and some gasp-worthy Kanjivarams

I wish I had worn my best Kanjivaram. The Wanderer has that kind of an ambience where that would have been more appropriate – all rustling silks and sparkling gems. It is a new store brought to town by Ahalya who is herself draped in a beautiful black Kanjivaram sari.

“It is not to be mistaken for either a boutique or an exhibition hall,” says Ahalya of this new store. That is why she refers to it as the ‘moving brand wagon’. “The space will feature short exhibits of some of the finest in clothing and accessories in the country,” she explains.

For the inaugural show, Ahalya has brought in her brand of Kanjivarams that she calls Kanakavalli. I am not the first who has asked her if that was her paati’s name. “No, it is not. I am a great fan of Alarmel Valli, so the Valli is bit is from there. And Kanaka means gold,” she says. Indeed, there is a shimmer of gold as Ahalya throws open gracious old glass-fronted cupboards to show her collection. Purples, chilli reds, deep greens, blacks…the silk saris, each one, is unique. Some are the you-can-never-go-wrong traditional kinds reminiscent of the saris our paatis and periammas wore, and others are more contemporary, but holding on to original flavour.

Along with Kanakavalli, another collection will also be on display. Called Lakshmi, it is a collection of Indian textiles handpicked and designed by Vani Polavaram.

“The idea is to have the best of names come here. So, every now and then, one or two brands will make The Wanderers their home and show off what they have to offer in a beautiful space,” says Ahalya.

But one section of The Wanderer will stay put and that is the Ahalya Bespoke Studio. It has the finest handcrafted gold and silver with precious and semi-precious stones. There is also a ready-to-wear line called Alchemy. But the speciality is bespoke jewellery. Ahalya says people come with specific briefs and in consultation with them she and her team creates a piece. “Often we have those who bring old jewellery that is beautiful but not suitable to wear in this day and age. We respect the sentimental value the piece of jewellery may have and just reinterpret or reinvent it and make it wearable.” She shows a finger ring she is wearing that has an old coin set in it, along with a diamond and a pearl!

The Kanakavalli and Lakshmi collection is on display till Friday August 22, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Wanderers is located inside a gracious old house on 167 Race Course Road (next to On The Go). For details call: 96770-74108.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:46:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/the-wanderer-brings-best-of-kanjivaram-saree-and-gold-jewellery/article6331809.ece

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