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Statement in colours

There are colours from the artistic hands of the land of the Thar



Lena Falk: `The original colours are great. But I am looking at a particular European market and I needed to change things.' — Photo: Murali Kumar K.

WHAT'S THE Swedish line on Rajasthan? Lena Falk. She comes from Sweden to Jaipur to imbibe the colour and form (pattern) of the City of Pink and the land of sand. A land anyone would love, and Lena does. A designer, Lena has brought to Bangalore a collection of embroidery made by hands that make art out of cloth.

Lena has on offer at the Kahawa Gallery for Design bed linen, cushion covers, quilts, home wear and accessories in cotton in fine colour mixes: green and blue, brown and pink, and lilacs. What's it about the colours? A fabulous understatement — green in lime, blue in light and turquoise, sand brown, pink that is Jaipur, and lilac that is purple light. She's got all these colours on fabric cotton: cotton voile, poplin, canvas and velvet. There's silk too, a limited edition — the silk taffeta.

Brilliant hues

The pink/red is familiar. The palace and the turban tell tales. A winner all the way is the fabulous turquoise blue, the linen and the stitches, whether on bed sheet, quilt or cushion. You'd be loath to put the marvellous turquoise cushion to use. Tuck it in a corner that is white all around and you'll have an aesthetic out of nowhere. The pink too is as tempting as turquoise.

But it's a mistake if one misses the quilt: isn't the quilt the story of a life, time and culture? The Mughal one? In Jaipur and Lahore? Ismat Chughtai, that daring darling who wove an unforgettable literary quilt.

The blue touch to the quilt is fine innovation, while it has the trademark pink, red, and some brown too. "I loved the dusty, patchy quilts here. I love the patches, the colours and patterns on them. Even if I am looking at one patch, I buy the whole quilt. The patch is really my inspiration."

Lena is no stranger here. She has been journeying here for some time now and has been living in Bangalore for the last couple of years. She was with the Swedish design house H and M and got lucky when it offered her a two-year contract to work in its Indian production house.

And from India she travelled to Indonesia. That is where she met her Indian husband. Does that explain the Indian connection? Partly yes. "I stay in Bangalore and my husband is also why I am here. I stay in Bangalore but Rajasthan is India."

Lena has done a turn: she has taken the colours and patterns of Jaipur/Rajasthan and Sobered them down. "The original colours are great. They are bright. But I am looking at a particular European market and I needed to change things. Scandinavia looks at the understated. Life and colour there are like that. So, even as I borrow colours and patterns from here, the changes I print on the material are mine. But the skills, the stitching, is Indian. The women do the stitching. And they come from the villages. It is all organised in a factory in Jaipur," says Lena, who has now quit H and M to work on her own.

The range

Lena has on offer bed linen, handbags, shoe bags, travel bags, laundry bags, make-up bags, quilts, and home wear. All these in all the colours she has brought here: if you find a bed sheet in blue, you'll find a quilt and kimono in blue too. The prices travel from Rs. 165 to Rs. 3,500.

For more information, contact Kahawa on 22088004 or kahawa_design@hotmail.com

PRASHANTH G.N.

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