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Meera & Muzaffar Ali
HindustanTimes.com, PTI
New Delhi, April 27, 2004
First Published: 11:47 IST(26/4/2004)
Last Updated: 11:31 IST(27/4/2004)

Through a decade of detailing and upgrading craft of Lucknow and Kotwara, Meera & Muzaffar Ali have brought centuries' old tradition back to life. Both Chikan and Zardozi today have become contemporary and the label of KOTWARA is internationally associated with the philosophy of clothes that integrates aesthetics and humanity, peace and harmony. The wearer of Kotwara, experiences an inner tranquillity as a contrast to a highly consumerist outlook. Living Sufism has been able to establish a hitherto unknown genre of clothing created amidst nature and music with love and sensitivity.

Their endeavour has been to look at style in the broadest sense of the concept and create products with a universal appeal and relevance. By using the sense of fine detailing, which has evolved in India over the centuries, the range extends from innovations in Indian and western forms using simple craft techniques of chikan, zardozi, tukdi and appliqué with hand detailing to create dramatic effects. The label of Kotwara has thus acquired a style of its own which is both avant-garde and traditional and evokes an image which is an interesting blend of detailing and innovation, modernity and old world charm. From the traditional Lehnga they have a wide range of western forms from long coats to shorter jackets, dresses, skirts and trousers. They are gently quilted, subtly embroidered and delicately hand finished.

Clothes for Meera and Muzaffar Ali are the epitome of inner grace, and for that matter they don't have to be expensive. They are the essence of nostalgia, the fragrance of the present, and the dream of the future. When Muzaffar sketches clothes he designs in a trance, made of moments of the past and present, and projects them as valuables that people would cherish. To him these clothes are sacred as they enclose the temple of the human form. Muzaffar Ali, filmmaker, painter and designer, draws deep inspiration from Sufi poetry and music. He stepped into designing through his films and his deep involvement with his village made craft an ongoing relationship and a means of providing employment for the rural craftspeople of Kotwara. Each day in Kotwara they dream to look ahead, create new feelings, innovate new details. Not only with the craft but the life of the craftswomen and her children, their education, outlook and livelihood.

Since 1990, Meera & Muzaffar Ali have held several fashion shows in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Madras, Singapore, Kuwait, London and New York.


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