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Spotlight on crafts

Designers and craftsmen join hands to revive old weaves

india Updated: Nov 28, 2009 19:49 IST
Shweta Jain

Even as the world drool over those magnificient design, the faces behind those beautiful weavings and embroideries usually goes unnotived. In order to give a recognition to these artists, 30 weavers and fashion designers had come together to work on a project jointly initiated by NGO Dastkar and fashion magazine Marie Claire. Says Laila Tyabji, head, Dastkar, “The aim was to form a link between these craftsmen and the contemporary market through fashion designers. We wanted to convey the power, potential and range of crafts available in India, which are neither known nor used commercially.”

Fifteen designers were selected and were asked to pick up any of the techniques or region of India to work on. The weavers and designers met and worked for three months. and each pair made two garments that will now be showcased during a fashion show on December 4.

Designer Anand Kabra took up Kanjeevaram silks as his subject. He says, “All the silk weavers and I were excited about the project. Though there are endless possibilities for revival of this silk for mainstream fashion, hindrances in terms of timings, finances and technology, were many. I asked the weavers to go back to vintage designs, which had flora and fauna motifs. We dug archives for old samples. One I retained as a sari, and the other I turned into a lehenga-choli.”

Shefali Vasudev, editor, Marie Claire says, “Designers generally use poor weavers’ services according to their whims. So this initiative will result in a proper fashion show, may be followed by an auction of the garments.”

Designer Nachiket Barve found Kantha embroidery from West Bengal mesmerising. “This is a very intricate technique done painstakingly by hand. I made one jacket and one dress using Kantha. I didn’t have to dictate anything to the craftsmen, they were too good at their work.”