Sunita Shanker is back in Chennai, this time with her AW ’21 edit

Sunita Shanker’s AW ’21 collection stays true to the designers handloom obsession and focuses on repurposed fabrics
Ensembles from Sunita Shanker’s AW ’21 edit
Ensembles from Sunita Shanker’s AW ’21 edit

Handloom goddess and couturier Sunita Shanker finally brings her Autumn-Winter ’21 collection to Chennai and the collection, as always, is a synergy between fashion and traditional crafts. Featuring ultra modern pieces like halter jumpsuits, coats, jackets, dresses, skirts, tops, overlays and tunics in silk and cotton silk, the collection aims to encompass modernity that also gracefully embraces traditional crafts such as bandhani and kantha. The silhouettes, in typical Sunita Shanker vocabulary, are clean and minimalist and each individual piece is designed to be trans-seasonal and can be worn multiple times and in multiple ways too. We caught up with the designer to find out more about the brand new collection.

“We’ve chosen to work with old fabric for this collection. Since I work with a lot of weavers, I’ve accumulated a lot of textiles and reusing good textile has become a religion to me. The pandemic made me realise that a lot of these old beautiful pieces of fabric can be repurposed into exquisite new garments and it’s definitely not a new idea; we’ve been doing this forever. It’s just that you realise that you cherish everything and that every piece of fabric has a memory and you are able to create beautiful pieces of clothing when all of this comes together,” shares the couturier, who’s a favourite among several celebs including Alia Bhatt.

Sunita Shanker
Sunita Shanker

The collection focuses on shades of red, white and black and while the hues do justice to the season, Sunita tells us that there’s more to the story. “I work with a lot of repurposed fabric, including saris from temples that are usually made of really good quality silk. It’s a shame to see those beautiful saris go to waste, but they’re often stained with vermilion, sandal and the likes. So, I often dye them black. It also reduces the need to use any harsher chemicals on the fabric. That’s one of the reasons why the collection is in shades of red, white and black, but I assure you this will be my last collection featuring these shades, at least for now. I now need to use a lot more colour. I will evolve beyond these colours. I do work with pastels and other colours, but winters and autumns always have a restrictive colour palette. After this whole pause that the pandemic has brought about, one wants to feel fresher and lighter and that’s what I’m hoping to do with my Spring-Summer ’22 collection,” Sunita explains.

With a promise of a fresher and lighter SS ’22 collection, our curiosity is piqued and we ask Sunita for a teaser of sorts. “Well, the collection will feature greens, mints and refreshing whites and candy colours like orange. It will focus on silk cotton and let me see what funk I can put into it. I know I am a minimalist designer, but this collection will feature some fun and perkiness,” the designer concludes.

INR 4,000 onwards. On till Dec 31. At Amethyst.

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