Eco-prints and natural dyes define Padmaja's new Ayahuma 'Spirit of Nature' collection
Long before ‘sustainability’ was the name of the game in fashion, contemporary label Padmaja already held the environment and the artisan as their raison d’etre. But with the latest Ayahuma ‘Spirit of Nature’ collection currently on display at The Amethyst Room, the label has upped the ante with its first use of natural dyes from recycled flowers. “Most of our flowers and fruits are recycled from offerings at temples that would have otherwise been disposed of. The rose and marigold flowers go through an intense process of collecting, sorting and drying before they are ready to dye. The dyeing process is entirely by hand and hence ensures that an exact duplicate is impossible. The fabrics have to be carefully treated through the entire process to ensure they take the right colours. Depending on the kind of design we choose, the flowers are laid on the fabrics that are then folded and steamed. The intensity of colour varies with each batch, but that is the beauty of working in tune with nature,”says Padmaja Krishnan, founder and designer of the label on the arduous, yet fulfilling process.
With Mother Nature as the muse and aided by a minimalist touch, the line features flowy yet sleek silhouettes of the earth-toned fabrics. The designs in the Ayuhuma collection stay true to the label’s mission of being timeless and beyond trends. An inspired marriage between the East and West, the collection ranges from delicate gossamer-like, hand-dyed and hand-printed mulberry silk saris to a pure zari silk, full-length rose evening dress and a traditional Eastern fisherman pants with gentle pleats, made from pure khadi cotton. The Sapanwood Sinuous tunic –– a design where a dress meets a kaftan — truly stands out in its simplicity and reeks of playfulness with its one-sleeved kaftan side and ombre colour shade. In a clever exercise of restraint, Padmaja reins in the colour palette to amplify the soft voice of the natural fibres and hues of dusky yellows, indigos and beiges from the recycled marigolds and roses that are the trademark of the Ayahuma line. ( Rs 21,900 onwards)
Going beyond just pretty weaves and prints, Padmaja is always on a lookout to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment. In this direction, they have included Ahimsa silk ( Matka silk ) in their repertoire. This is more in tune with Padmaja’s philosophy to ‘Acquire less – Savour more.’
Stoles at Rs 5,000. Collection priced at Rs 12,900 onwards. On until November 23 at Amethyst.