In the palm of your hand: Vastra Utsav spotlights all things handwoven and handcrafted
The handloom celebrations come closer home with Vastra Utsav, an exhibition of ethnic and contemporary designer wear, being hosted by Friends of DakshinaChitra, a group of art and heritage enthusiasts including Visalakshi Ramaswamy, founder of M.Rm.Rm Cultural Foundation, Usha Moorthy, Usha Jawahar, Rani Ananth, Princess Naik, Nita Reddy and Kausalya, former consul general of the French Consulate in Chennai, who pioneered the first Vastra Utsav fundraising initiative.
Keep an eye out for presentations that bring the right mix of vintage and traditional work, combined with the comfort and style of contemporary designs.
For a note, the proceeds will go to fund activities on behalf of the DakshinaChitra Museum and NGO. The show will play its part to preserve the traditional arts, crafts and architecture, emphasise the show’s hosts.
The Utsav is meant to support indigenous crafts communities and promote artisanal fashion, affirms Usha Moorthy, President of the festival committee.
Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals, who will inaugurate the show, took a moment to impress upon the idea that “Slow is the way to go forward when it comes to fashion.”
“Indian handlooms have a lot of history, great craftsmanship and multiple traditions from different religions woven into the warp and weft of the fabric,” noted Reddy.
“While some have become a dying art, others have faded into the chapters of history. It now becomes a national responsibility to treasure, revive and nurture wherever we can,” she said.
A touch of the earth
The show will serve to introduce people “to various weaves, different printing and dyeing techniques from across the country, worked on by master weavers and revivalists, and conceptualised by eminent designers,” says a note from the hosts.
The clothing segment is bound to find most interest as Susha and Anuradha Singh from Samprada Apparels present their collections alongside creations of Seema Agrawal and Kaushik Rajani, Juanita Shubhda Priyam, Bidisha Bhaduri and Tina Eapen.
Don’t miss Riti’s kalamkari, ajrakh, ikat and Mangalgiri pieces. Sankeerthi Aipanjiguli of Rabbit Out of the Hat will offer handcrafted silver jewellery, while Ruma Tomars’ label Zohra will present a range of handcrafted jewellery and saris.
To wrap things up, Prabha Narasimhan’s Amrita will showcase customised ensembles in a spectrum of styles, designs and colours.
Among the craft offerings, look out for works of Maati Crafts, Marm and Aarika by Sarika Rajeev Kapoor.
Aarika presents handwoven jute neck-pieces interlaced with temple jewellery as one of their highlight creations.
For an earthy touch, Vithura, the brainchild of Ramya Reddy from Chennai, will offer a selection of handcrafted terracotta jewellery.
August 8 & 9, 10 am-7 pm. At Mayor Ramanathan Chettiar Hall, Santhome. Open to all.
— Jaideep Sen