The first glimpse came through a mood board that had the collection’s title ‘Amma’s Wedding Sari’, a photograph of actress Savitri and images of animal motifs and temple jewellery. Ganesh Nallari’s new line, which he will unveil at Bangalore Fashion Week on February 3, is nostalgia reworked for a younger clientele. “Retro futuristic,” is how Ganesh describes it.
The summer spring line focuses on festive/wedding wear. Ganesh admits, “Most of my clientele spends for special occasions, especially weddings, and not so much during other times.”
‘Amma’s Wedding Sari’ has box-pleated long skirts, boat-neck crop tops, capes, lightweight jackets, embellished blouses, dhoti saris and more. He has used lightweight Kanchi and Benaras silk saris for a few ensembles. Rust oranges, mustard yellows, leaf greens and deep pinks dominate the colour palette. “We’re going to see these colours prominently this summer,” he says. So, there are anarkali-style long dresses in orange and yellow Mangalagiri cotton silks with animal motifs embroidered in silk thread at the cuffs and Benaras saris converted into skirts with multi-hued side panels and teamed up with fuss-free crop tops. Sheer capes with embroidery or jackets are add-ons in place of dupattas.
Ganesh is a Bharatanatyam dancer and the influence is obvious in the dhoti-sari that resembles a dance costume, combined with a half sari and a crop top. The temple jewellery patterns and animal motifs — elephants, peacocks and horses — are recurring elements. A skirt with embroidery in ‘kanjura’ jewellery pattern does away with the need to wear jewellery. Some of the blouses, with a hint of ikat, are embellished with animal motifs.
The task, he says, was to keep the ensembles lightweight yet dressy for summer weddings. “The perception is that Mangalagiri fabric is boring and traditional. But when you use it to design a skirt or an anarkali-style Indian dress with a little embellishment, it can be worn to a sangeet or a mehendi,” he says.
Hand-woven cottons, cotton-silks and raw silks are the mainstay of his collection, but there’s also the occasional chiffon with ‘pitta’ work to cater to those yet to warm up to handlooms.
For the ramp, Ganesh plans to adhere to the orange-yellow-green-pink colour palette but is aware that many women do not follow trends. The collection, therefore, has outfits in shades of lavender-blue, gold-beige and peaches. The men’s wear has anarkali-styled sherwanis with bandhgalas, stitched dhotis, Jodhpur pants, churidars and the colours range from neutral browns to fuchsia and orange. “A few grooms experiment with bright colours normally considered feminine,” he says. Many of the pieces that go into these ensembles can work as separates that can be mixed and matched.