Lounge Loves | Handloom saris


Lounge Loves | Handloom saris

Spinning the wheel

At the recently-concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi, we had a compelling debate with some young designers working exclusively with handlooms. The contention was how only a few among the handloom experts of India’s fashion industry had done memorable design experimentation over the last 25 years. The four odd names that came up included Rajesh Pratap Singh and David Abraham and Rakesh Thakore of Abraham & Thakore (A&T).

It was an uncanny coincidence then that the next day, elsewhere in Delhi, Pratap, on the one hand, and A&T, on the other, launched new handloom sari collections. Besides pinning their signature post-its on India’s ongoing sari story, both—in different ways—had chosen the route of design innovation through untried weaving techniques to do so. Pratap and A&T have yet again resonated Indian fashion’s persistent, if selective, loyalty towards handlooms and why innovation in design is far from absent.

The saris by A&T take forward their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. From May this year, the duo have been working with Ekaya’s founder Bharat Shah to create more than 40 designs from Banarasi handlooms that would leave many a textile enthusiast aesthetically moved. Some are delicately woven with zari, others are monochrome, while still others have bright, high-contrasting colours, making them all mo dern options for the festive season fused with a purist tradition. “To demonstrate the diversity of weaving techniques in Banaras, we played with the idea of juxtaposition—for example strict geometry against florals; bold forms against delicate textures within the same surface,” explains Abraham.

Rajesh Pratap Singh saris, priced between 10,500 and 33,500, are available at his Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore stores, or his Delhi studio by appointment. For details, call 9810028572/9810454298.

Abraham & Thakore saris, priced between 25,000 and 37,500, are available at D-7, Ekaya, Defence Colony, New Delhi