Made for the Indian woman

 Designer Pratima Pandey

Designer Pratima Pandey

The most prominent among the garments in Pratima Pandey’s latest collection, Leela, which was on display at Collage, were the (white) Chanderi koras, that flaunted Indian embroidery techniques from Parsi to dabka.

“I love layering, so you will see a lot of layers in my collection. And I love kora, it’s a natural fabric, it’s the first level of fabric that comes out of the weaving process; I work on a lot of koras. You will also see a lot of floral embroidery,” says Pratima, a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology. She has also won a Grazia Young Award in 2011 in the category of eco-friendly fashion.

Leela, themed after the mysterious ‘play’ of life, features a range of kurtas, jumpsuits, saris and lehengas predominately in shades of white, black and red.

“In my kurta sets I usually don’t include a dupatta because I want to free the woman from too many things to do. I believe in clothing that is simple and elegant. My collection is made for the contemporary Indian woman, it’s what she would love to wear,” explains Pratima.

“I have picked simple cuts that celebrate the Indian body. This time I have incorporated drop waist silhouettes in my kurtas and skirts. The colour palette also reflects a sense of celebration.”

The floral embroidery is a result of her childhood tryst with gardening, inculcated by her mother.

“I have always loved gardens, and flowers . I think what you love is what translates into your garments. My mother used to take me gardening in my childhood, I can’t imagine celebrating something without flowers. Floral motifs come to me naturally. However much I try to move away, I seem to come back to them each time.”

Whenever she designs, she adds, she places herself as the protagonist. “I am looking at every person who is well-traveled, well-read, well-exposed, thanks to social media (sometimes they are exposed to too many things). I look at what is influencing me, the people around me, my friends and my family and I try to incorporate these thought processes in my design,” she says. “I feel you can’t be away from reality, simplicity is the key.”

Pratima also believes in a holistic approach to clothing, and works to create clothes that can be worn for years. “It shouldn’t feel out of place even five years from now. I create classic clothing.”

She has continued working with handloom textiles over the years, ever since she fell in love with them during the course of a college project.

“In college, I was working with a weaver from Varanasi. I fell in love with the way the textiles were made, the whole handloom feel. I always wonder why we are not ‘exploiting’ our rich heritage,” she recalls. “When I started my label, Prama, I was sure that I only wanted to work with handloom textiles, I have stuck to it since then. I think there is nothing more beautiful than handloom, when you see the way the garment is made. The weaver puts his soul into each thread he weaves.”

Leela by Pratima Pandey will be on display at Collage Shop India, No. 21\1, Wood Street, Ashok Nagar until September 10. The collection is priced from ₹18,000 onwards. For details, call 25566818.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 4:41:22 pm |