Fashion | Fashion

Sari and a waist bag

Anavila Misra   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With languid linen saris in muted colours, Anavila Misra’s mindful approach to fashion has many takers across the country.

They range from actors and the creative tribe to entrepreneurs, all at ease in her drape, even in the boardroom. Chennai, it appears, is no different and clients come in from Coimbatore, Madurai and other cities when there is a show at Amethyst.

This time, Misra has tapped into her frequent travels to Vietnam, which introduced her to the Sa Pa tribes. The designer found herself carrying a lasting impression of these mostly rural tribes, native to the picturesque hills of northwest Vietnam. In fact, her Spring Summer collection for 2019 is entirely inspired by their culture and diversity.

The collection, which features saris and separates, was handcrafted by artisans across West Bengal, Bhuj and Vietnam. The colour palette stays true to Misra’s earthy aesthetic, with a range of white and beige tones, muted corals, greens and greys.

Anavila Misra’s spring summer collection

Anavila Misra’s spring summer collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

There is a variety of technique on display, in the form of pleating, embroidery and hand block printing that she has juxtaposed with comfort and breathability. The line uses only natural fabrics — cotton, silk and the soft, fluid linen that has now become her signature.

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Misra will be exhibiting her Spring Summer line in Chennai next week and is optimistic about the way she expects her collection to be received. “Yes, Chennai is a traditional market,” she says. “But we have been retailing here since 2014 and our customer base has only grown.”

She notes that perceptions among consumers have been changing faster than ever before. “Our customers are open to experimenting with new fabrics and drapes. They are placing more importance on how comfortable their clothes are as opposed to how dressy they should be,” she says.

Anavila Misra’s spring summer collection

Anavila Misra’s spring summer collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

This shift in mindset has been reflected in her collection as well, in the form of short drapes and interesting pleating. “Only this week,” she says, “I had a student who came to my class wearing a sari with a short drape, and a waist bag. She looked so chic!”

The short drape, she points out, apart from looking fun and unique, allows for greater mobility and movement. “The current generation didn’t grow up with the sari the way mine did,” she says by way of explanation.

“There are a lot of fond memories that I have with the sari, of my mother in a sari, and of my sister and I playing dress-up.” If more young women are to wear saris, she says, they need to be able to relate to it.

Misra’s passion for reinventing the sari for the next generation extends to her new pet project, Busa The Saree Doll. The adorable sari-wearing cloth doll was born out of a hunt for fun, appropriate and plastic-free toys for her niece. Her doll collection, Busa and Friends, includes cheeky monkeys, puppies and giraffes. “Busa has a lot of grown-up fans,” she says.

Anavila Misra will be exhibiting her Spring Summer 2019 collection and Busa and Friends dolls on March 7 and 8 at The Folly, Amethyst. 044-45991630

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 12:03:28 PM |

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