Designer Vasu Manoj explores Rajasthani block prints in saris
Whether you are looking for a heavily embroidered Kanjeev-aram or Banaresi saris or screen printed tussar silk drapes paired with contrasting coloured chikan blouses, this 800 sq ft store has you covered. Handpicked by city-based entrepreneur Vasu Manoj, the collections at her boutique, Paisley, offer a mix of young and vibrant textiles for the millennials, classic silk ethnic drapes for older clientele and other running fabrics. Exploring her designing capabilities, the 29-year-old MBA graduate from Ethiraj College, recently designed and launched the first collection of bespoke saris.
A quick peek into the eight-month-old boutique and the engineer-turned-designer’s love for block prints and handloomed textiles is noticeable. Brightly-lit with white textured interiors and gleaming varnished wooden shelves, the first thing you notice is the 8x3 feet cotton canvass with Kalamkari prints of drums and shehnais. “Art and textiles were something I found myself reading about and so I found myself travelling to visit artisan clusters and other weaving centres,” she says. Starting her journey travelling through weaving clusters in Chettinad, Karaikudi and Madurai, Vasu soon found herself heading for Jaipur, Varanasi and Kolkatta to understand their textiles.
“Since weaves from clusters in Tamil Nadu are readily available, a large portion of the customer base is looking for exotic block prints from the North.” Featuring customised bagru prints on cotton saris with Zari borders, Vasu tells us that collection also includes separate blouse fabric that compliments the sari. “My design process works backwards,” she says with a laugh explaining that she starts by picking the blouse piece, selects a fabric for the sari and only then work on its motifs.
While looking to launch her casual collection of kurtis and saris in the coming year, one can expect to find a range of pastel-hued tussar saris and a bright-coloured range of shibori drapes in stores next month.
`2,000 onwards. Bharathi Park, Cross Road No 7. Details: 8220853130