Syu Studio’s capsule collection of Benarasi stoles pays homage to the history of homing pigeons
The lockdown has got us playing dress-up in our bedroom mirrors, but this is also a great time to stock up on some spring fashion trends because you finally have the time to browse at your own pace! To get you started, we must tell you about Kolkata-based sustainable design house Syu Studio’s new capsule collection of Benarasi stoles.
The line-up pays an homage to the homing pigeons which were once a great source of communication in India, especially the east. Elaborating on this Pigeongram concept, Aparupa Ghosh of Syu Studio has collaborated with Benarasi weavers to come up with a stunningly eclectic line of Benarasi stoles in interesting colours like dusky grey, fuschia-coral etc, all featuring messenger pigeons on them. We spoke to Aparupa about this superbly conceived line-up:
Tell us how you conceived this capsule collection?
With Syu we have been really focusing on block printing and hand printing techniques , this is the first time we have sort of worked with weaves. It started with a trip to Benaras, we got in touch with a few weavers. The idea was to build upon something ordinary but which has a story to it, something which doesn’t look run-off-the-mill, something that has its own narrative.
So, when I started doing my research on homing pigeons, I found stories about these actual pigeons who had their names. In fact, in India, this pigeongram thing started from Calcutta; it travelled from Asansol to Calcutta around 1931. So we named the stoles according to the names of the pigeons featured on them, like Eclipse, Rocket, Good News etc.
How did you zero in on the colours?
We wanted some variety, like a pop of colour and then some classics. So we have some grey and black which you can’t go wrong with; we’ve focused on colours you don’t usually see in a Benarasi like grey and gold, they go together so well. Some colors which are versatile in evening and day wear.
Why do you think the youngsters are coming back to benarasi?
Right now, it’s all about going back to your roots, which is what makes Benarasi so relevant. There are so many labels like Sabyasachi and Raw Mango who are working with Banarasi weaves. For festive wear, we’d often look into our mums’ wardrobes to style ourselves. But with this line-up I thought maybe we could contemporise the vibe, with interesting motifs but keep the sense of tradition alive.
Have you noticed a change in people’s buying patterns when it comes to sustainable clothing?
Definitely! People are so aware now, there’s so much information out there about the process about the fabrics sources, the who made your clothes campaigns. This helps incredibly. There are customers who ask me, ‘Who made this? What is the printer’s name?’ This curiosity is a great thing, this is exactly what we want.
The line-up is priced at Rs 4,500.