The year-old label, The Silk Line is a reflection of designer, Vasini Vardan’s childhood years spent growing up at her father’s retail store, Srinivasa Silks and Saris. Taking customers on a visual treat of the heritage of the Kanjivaram pattu, the designer has been exploring motifs and colours that have been forgotten over the course of this artistic tradition’s historic legacy. “Traditional Kanjivaram saris were and still are known best for their simple designs and extremely intricate zari work. Over time, the importance given to the designs on saris reduced greatly. One of our main objectives is to revive the older and much-loved motifs,” says the 31-year-old. Showcasing a range of motifs like the Malli moggu, a design that went off the market with the introduction of the jacquard machine, annam (mythical swan) and mayil (peacock), the brand will be in the city at a one-day pop-up at Plumeria today.
Maze of motifs
The showcase, a mash-up of three of her collections so far, will include the doodle line, pop-up collective and traditional line, each of which spotlights different motifs, design techniques and colours. “Kanjivarams can be quirky and fun too. That’s the spirit of the doodle line that sports intricately woven flamingos,” she shares. From the pop-up collective, look out for a variety of contrasting colours combinations that are created using the Korvai technique. “The Korvai sari has a contrasting body and border colours. The technique requires two weavers working simultaneously, where each one sits on either side of the loom to create the sari,” explains Vasini.
Offering more than just the parrot and peacock motifs as a part of the traditional line, The Silk Line will showcase designs like Vel Dhari (stripes in a silver zari), kalpavriksha (tree of life), mango and pomegranates. “The paisley motif is the most common when it comes to kanjivaram saris, we have contemporised it by adding silver zari. The pomegranate motif, on the other hand, was incredibly popular at one point in time, having travelled along some of the same trade routes that would later be associated with silk. The traditional collection attempts to revive lesser-known designs.”
The colour palette includes hues like purple, pink, blue, green and turquoise, while the fabric used is the staple silk. “I play around with watercolours and acrylics. After we settle on a colour, we see how best to replicate it with the dye colour.” Open to expansion, the Economics graduate from Madras School of Economics recently collaborated with Riththi in Colombo and Red Earth.
Rs 10,500 onwards. At Plumeria on February 23. From 10 am.