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Tryst with traditions: Dastkar Fair puts the spotlight on handicrafts

A Dastkar fair featuring the creations of designers working with traditional handicraft-skills offers buying options for both the self and the home.

fashion and trends Updated: Jan 23, 2016 13:28 IST
Poulomi Banerjee
Dastkar Fair
The Dastkar Design Fair 2016 features the creations of over 70 designers working with traditional handicraft-skills.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

The Sun must be a shopaholic. After two days of painful near-disappearance and abandoning Delhiites to the sudden drop in temperature, it rose bright and warm on Thursday, as Dastkar opened the gates to the third edition of its annual Design Fair, making it a perfect afternoon to browse and buy.

Designer drapes: Most of us refer to it as Kashmiri embroidery, and we love to have it on our shawls, kurtas and capes. But Sameer Ahmad Bhat from Kashmir explains that the work on these curtains is called Crewl embroidery and its different from the one seen on shawls and garments. His collection also includes cushion covers. (Where: Sameer Designs, Price: Rs 3000 onwards) (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

Featuring the creations of designers working with traditional handicraft-skills in handloom textiles, embroidery, garments, jewellery, accessories, home decor items and furniture, the 12-day fair has drawn about 76 participants from across the country.

Best foot forward: The Kalamkari finish gives these flat leather shoes a quirky edge. While the brand is mostly into handcrafted shoes, also on offer at the fair is a small collection of bags. (Where: Karmantik Price: Rs 1550) (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

“The annual Dastkar Design Fair is an opportunity for young craftspeople and crafts entrepreneurs who are working with different craft forms, techniques and materials to showcase their creativity and enter the urban retail space that is otherwise beyond their means. It also affords an opportunity for young entrepreneurs and designers to meet, interact and dialogue with young craftspeople — exchanging ideas, skills and experiences,” says Dastkar chairperson Laila Tyabji.

Cape corner: Though handspun garments in yak wool from Ladakh is the forte for this brand, at the fair, the collection includes jackets and capes, such as the one above, with a Rajasthani influence. (Where: Fayakun Design Studio, Price: Rs 3600) (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

If Nomad offers skirts and garments inspired by rustic wear, Manas K Ghorai from West Bengal has jewellery, handloom saris and blouses fashioned out of gamchha (or cotton towels) and Read India brings skirts and dresses in contemporary designs fashioned out of traditional Manipuri handloom.

Bejewelled: Transparent glass beads and a wooden comb are unusual choices for jewellery for most, but designer Manas manages to create a perfect piece with them, with a little help from the enamel work detail that he has added to it. The designer from Kolkata also has on offer saris and quirky blouses. (Where: Manas K Ghorai , Price: Rs 5000) (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

Karmantik gives a quirky twist to leather shoes and Sameer Designs from Kashmir has exquisite embroidered curtains for the house. Jayati Mehta with studio pottery, Pankaja Sethi from Odisha with Ikat weaves and Shunya with Batik designs, are some of the other participants.

Skirting it: The design of this skirt might not match the ones traditionally worn by women in Manipur, but the fabric is authentic Manipuri handloom. The brand also offers dresses and other contemporary designs in traditional weaves. (Where: READ India, Price: Rs 1100) (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

Weekends will include cultural performances, the first of which, on January 24 will be a Nati folk dance performance from Kulu. Cuisine from Afghanistan, Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Hyderabad, Punjab and Tamil Nadu add just the right bite of spice to the entire experience.

Read: How Suket Dhir won the International Woolmark Prize using Indian weaves