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  Life   Fashion  19 Mar 2017  A new silk route

A new silk route

THE ASIAN AGE. | GEETHA JAYARAMAN
Published : Mar 19, 2017, 12:17 am IST
Updated : Mar 19, 2017, 6:10 pm IST

Traditional silks like mulberry, muga, eri and tussar are getting a new look with modern silhouettes.

Rina Dhaka (Photo: Bunny Smith)
 Rina Dhaka (Photo: Bunny Smith)

There’s a certain richness, grandness and regality about silk. But most often, silk is associated with Indian attire. And handloom revival has seen only a few Indian designers experimenting on silks with the western look. Designers like Shruti Sancheti, Divya & Ambika of Dabiri, Rina Dhaka and Samant Chauhan are rethinking Indian fashion and showcased a collection of modern silhouettes using silk fabrics like mulberry, muga, eri and tussar at the ongoing Amazon India Fashion.

“It is very important to bring out a globally appealing collection while embracing our culture,” says designer Shruti Sancheti who presented a collection titled ‘The Tribe’ using tussar silk. “I have used very modern silhouettes to present an amalgamation of traditions and trends with chic trench coats, oversize crop tops, layered dhoti trousers, jumpsuit with trail skirt, variety of capes, sleek peplum jackets and long gypsy skirts.”

 

The handloom clusters from remote tribal belt of Jharkhand inspired her to redefine muted glamour of tribal India. She shares, “Be it music, art or fashion, the cycle always takes you back in time. Hence, the resurgence of traditional fabrics. But we cannot expect the market to grow if we are not open for changes. Even our fashion sensibilities have changed. We look for comfortable clothing with chic style. So, the collection should not be restricted to India only. So, the collection is natural, not over-done, using local fabrics for the modern-day consumers keeping in mind the contemporary look. The idea was to keep the style simple yet innovative to transition the fabrics from traditional to a modern milieu.”

 

Divya and Ambika Jain’s label Dabiri collection ‘Rumi’s message of romance’ also interpreted modern-day women using gota work with applique in tussar and mulmul.

With the use of intricate detailing, interesting patterns and new techniques, the duo added a contemporary twist to their creations which draw inspiration from Indian heritage. “The fabric is well-suited to our weather and if we give it a contemporary form, it works beautifully as a fabric that can be used every day. And we must use it to empower the people making it and the ones wearing it. It should not be a one-sided journey,” explains the duo.

Muga silk, the golden silk of Assam, made a spectacular entry on the ramp at designer Samant Chauhan’s show ‘Unadulterated Railways’. Talking about the fabric Samant says, “Muga silk is more durable than ordinary silk. It looks a little rough but that same imperfection is its beauty.”

 

Creating a blend of age-old royal fabric, Samant created a range comprising of muga weaves with zardozi embroidery and patches, matched with a travel accessory line of home-grown jute and leather. He used his quintessential style of English silhouettes in a very traditionally used fabric. Riniki Bhuyan Sharma, president, Golden Threads of Assam who provided the fabric to Samant for his collection, shares, “With Chauhan we wanted to show that muga silk is not only limited to making mekhla chador and sarees but also to showcase how it can have value added diversified usage in other lifestyle and home decor products. This is a unique effort to ‘preserve, protect and promote’ the queen of silk endemic only to Assam.”

 

The tone of the Amazon India Fashion Week was set by a panel discussion featuring designers like Gaurav Gupta, Sanjay Garg, Anita Lal from Good Earth, Sally Holkar from The Handloom School and Uzramma from Malkha India talking about the importance of handloom and using traditional weaves. “In the prevalent times of climate change, we should embrace handlooms. The idea is to educate people on identifying authentic silk fabrics and encourages them to invest in quality products,” explains Sally Holkar. 

Tags: indian designers, amazon india fashion week, modern silhouettes