Traditional styles, contemporary interpretation
Ayan and Preetika Sarkar, Sunetra Lahiri and Abhishek Dutta are new entrants in the fashion horizon. Their couture reflects the fusion of traditional and modern and these garments are available at Origins.
FASHION IS hot and happening now. The burgeoning tribe of couturiers are putting the country on the fashion map and making successful inroads into the domestic markets. The younger generation is creating haute couture in their own way. Looking at the West is passé. Blending traditional with the contemporary is in. This fusion is an interesting interpretation. Contemporary yet with a vintage look.
This is visible in the new lines of Ayan and Preetika Sarkar, Sunetra Lahiri and Abhishek Dutta from Kolkata displayed at Origins (Lifestyle building, Begumpet). The Sarkar couple and Sunetra were at the boutique recently promoting their designer wear.
Ayan and Preetika's label `Couture wala' (launched recently) itself reflects the fusion. And a look at their saris further substantiates it. Sheer embellishments impart the rich look to the saris. Crepe and georgette are the heavily used fabrics as they are ideal for embroidery. The colour palette is bright - which is the case these days with most designers. Different methods of dyeing are used to produce a variegated effect. The `blotch' method - similar to tie-and-dye is a new one adopted by the couple.
The exquisite embellishments (which is their strong point) coupled with the basic dyeing (which produces beautiful shades) enhance the overall product. It is not surprising as Kolkata is home to many karigars. A variety of stitches are interspersed with mirrors (the Sarkars have introduced coloured mirrors), semi-precious stones, sequins and beads (they are placed vertically rather than horizontally which is the normal case). The antique look is in vogue these days. Most designers today are also using old brocade and tissue borders at the edges of the sari. This, along with the embroidery, produces the antique look. In fact the Sarkars have used everything possible to create the effect.
But their creations stand out in a way. They are different on account of the dyeing pattern and the kind and position of embroidery. The couple have given a facelift to machine ari embroidery and introduced in the domestic market. Ari is normally done by hand machine and machine ari work was mainly being exported. Machine shadow work in the body with mirror and other embellishments, dabia and pitamal beaten flat to give a flat and subtle look and machine jaal are other `innovations' by them. In some saris the front portion of the sari rather than the pallu is highlighted with rich motif/s. "We did that to give a rich look to the front portion which is visible rather than the pallu which hangs down," say the couple.
The price ranges from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 20,000.
People are becoming conscious of fashion these days. "The concept of fashion is changing. The competition in the industry helps us work hard," say the couple, who were present at the promotion. "We are happy at the response we have received in the last few months since we started the label," they say as it gives them inspiration to work. The Sarkars are looking beyond saris - they will be coming out with salwar-kurtas, Indo-Westerns and gents kurtas shortly.
Sunetra and Minu's `Matra' label too is about contemporary interpretation of traditional styles. It is back to the basics as far as the embellishments are concerned but the modern touch is given in the textures, cuts and the nature of the embroidery used. Kurtas (which can be teamed up with trousers, jeans and salwars) and a few saris are displayed at Origins. In fabrics such as matka, cotton, and cenza (a new fabric from Garden Mills which is a cotton-viscose blend) with subtle embellishments, these kurtas constitute formal and casual wear. "I like a lot of space in the fabric and so I embellish accordingly," says Sunetra. Her saris (in georgette) too reflect this. Earthy and bright colours are used in the couture. Thick cord work in the sleeve of the kurta like a band is something new she has attempted.
Abhishek Dutta's designer wear was displayed although he was not present at the promotion. Daring, bold and slightly flamboyant could be the terms used to describe his collection. Abhishek seems to be influenced by Sabyasachi as his clothes bear his stamp, particularly his long skirts slit at the sides. A mixture of symmetric and asymmetric patchwork in bright colours, these are inspired by the `Romanov' traditions but they certainly require a bold person to wear them. In fact for that matter most of his stuff seems to be too haute for a city like Hyderabad. One is certainly not belittling it but it needs courage to wear such stuff. On the kurtas he has used something like left-over materials and the look is craggy and unfinished. An unfinished look permeates most of the garments.
The couture of the three designers can be checked out at Origins.
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