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Sole sacrifice

The traditional Rajasthani Mojari gets a contemporary look



Wide selection from the ultra traditional to neo chic — Photos: K. Ramesh Babu

WITH ALL things Indian taking centre stage in the world of fashion, the time has come to get into those mojaris. Nothing can get more fusion or more ethnic than a pair of jeans, a tee-shirt (preferably supporting an obscure cause) and brightly coloured mojaris.

The traditional footwear of Rajasthan complete with pointy tips and colourful thread work has long been a favourite of the radical chic. The cons (pun unintended!) to this mode of footwear include the long period of "breaking in," where one rubs the shoes with oil to soften it.

The thick seams guaranteed a blister - so much so that wandering about with a stick-on plaster on the heel would immediately elicit sympathetic "new mojaris?" The fact that there was no differentiation for the right and left foot was another problem while the non-standard sizes ensured trying out at least 16 pairs before finding a pair that fit.

Now thanks to the efforts of the Society for Marketing of Artisan and Rural Things (SMART), the new age mojari is born. Trendy colours, standard British sizing, left/right shoe differentiation, cushioned instep and flexible seam make them a cool footwear option.



Vibrant range of saris

The designs according to Rajeev Mathur, Consultant SMART "are the USP of the footwear." You could stick to the traditional form and patterns or you could experiment with some chic new age designs including nifty numbers in zardosi, beadwork and oxidised silver ornaments.

The shoes are available as slip-ons, sandals and mules in colours ranging from the regular pinks and greens to elegant midnight blues and black. The price ranges from Rs 650 to Rs 1,130 and as Mathur comments, "we believe in fair pricing."

While the range for women is quite exhaustive, the gentlemen need not feel left out as they can go for mules with woven work or slip-ons with the traditional punch work. All who are strongly opposed to wearing slaughtered animals on their feet, take heart as the leather for the shoes are mainly made from "fallen animals," Mathur comments. "The tanning is done using vegetable dyes and so the whole process is eco-friendly." The shoes are on sale at `also' (White House building) today.

Also on sale is an exquisite range of bandhini saris, dupattas and fabric as well as Rajkot patola saris from Vanza Sons. So this Diwali be sure to togged up to the nines from top to toe!

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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