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Going natural

Prana, the lifestyle store, celebrates the inherent colours of Nature with its indigo-dyed range


"CLOTHING IS not just about fashion; it has a cultural, environmental and social significance," says Prabha Nagarajan, whose latest venture is the lifestyle store, Prana. The speciality of this store, which began operations a month ago, is its range of indigo dyed dupattas, stoles, skirts, kurtas and saris. Prana celebrates the inherent colours of Nature.

Prabha, a management and law professional-turned textile designer, was always into natural products. She launched the Prana brand three years ago and has been engaged in the manufacture of organic and natural dyed apparel, home accessories and eco-friendly products. Her line Prana was shown at Amethyst, Shilpi and Kalpa Druma. Then this ex-Indian Airlines employee decided to go it on her own.

The creations are divided into four lines — Natural Dye, Organic Fibre, Prana Naturals and Safe Hues. The Natural Dye line comprises apparel dyed mainly in indigo, the oldest known dye. The Organic Fibre line includes clothes made of pesticide-free cotton, jute, linen, mulberry, moga and tussar silk. The natural hues of these fibres are often retained to give the outfits a muted appeal. The Safe Hues line is all about using azo-free chemical dyeing techniques. In shades of brown, beige, off-white, lilac and blue, the Prana line spells class and comfort.

Tradition meets modernity in the Kodali Karuppur saris and dupattas with zari, the pride of Thanjavur. They are priced Rs. 800 upward.

Then there are smart trouser tops in silk and cotton, in elegant cuts and styling in blue, beige and off-white. The kantha worked tussar saris make a fashionable statement, as do the stoles in ikat and block prints.

There are well-cut shirts and kurtas for men (Rs. 350 upwards) in khadi and silk. Also available are cotton trousers and skirts.

However, the most interesting item is the veshti with simple borders. "It is a beautiful garment. I plan to design some stylish angavastrams with block prints," says Prabha.

Besides apparel, Prana stocks ceramic pottery and jewellery designed by the Bangalore-based couple, Hamsavardhan and Cynthia, incense sticks in natural fragrances, dhurries and blinds made of banana fibre.

Prana, open on all days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., is located at D6, 6th Street, Anna Nagar East, ph: 52170077.

SAVITHA GAUTAM

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