In India it is said that no matter what kind of body type you have, a well-draped sari will always manage to do wonders to your personality. As the Benaras silks are all set to get a fillip with Ministry of Textiles supporting it with all its might, a few Indian designers too are doing their bit to revive the traditional weaves of the region. We recently met one of the most reclusive revivalists, Vidhi Singhania, who has been working with the handwoven textiles of Kotah and Benaras from past 20 years. The designer, who aims to bring back the loom textiles as an art form, tells us how her contemporary treatment to ancient Indian woven motifs will set the ball rolling in current times.
Speaking about her passion for reviving weaves, she tells us, “I started my work with Kotah weaves in 1995, when we first created a batch of saris for corporate gifting. However, we started retailing by 1997 and in 2004 we showcased with the FDCI (Fashion Design Council of India). Firstly, we worked with Kotah weaves only but around 12 years back we also started working with Benaras textiles. Apart from saris, I always want to promote the wall art which is created using hand-woven Shrinathji and other Indian motifs on pure silk. I want to make sure that weaving is regarded as an art form, and to promote our weavers we even name our saris after them.”
As the woven tale takes a fresh twist, Vidhi plans to intertwine the modern aesthetics with peculiar Indian motifs like perching birds, parrots, handwoven graffiti “Sau Bhagyawati Bhav”, Ganesha and damroo. She adds, “We have also tried to do tartan prints and modern designs like ferns, chrysanthemum blooms on the pallu, so that women can style them with jackets, belts or simply wear them with a top\shirt to give it a modern look. We explain our wearers about the motifs and the designs and give them the colour palette to work with, so it takes around 4 to 5 months to conceptualize and start production of a fresh batch of saris. We also have a limited edition of chaar khana pallu saris, which is inspired by old thaali covers and has four different coloured boxes that are interpreted on the sari.”
(PS: Her Delhi store address is JK Building,2 VIPPS Centre, Masjid Moth, Greater Kailash 4 Road, Greater Kailash II)