Handloom take over
This April, designers across the state are focusing on variations of traditional handloom to add to the festive spirit
With Vishu, Easter and Ramadan upon us, April is the month of festivities, an occasion to indulge in festivities despite the summer heat. Our celebrations were dampened by the pandemic in the last two years, but this year, Malayalis are going all out. And that is why fashion is as important as food this season. TNIE takes a look at unique weaves to opt for this season.
Rouka by Sreejith Jeevan is a brand that resonates with the aesthetics and simplicity that Malayalis love. Blending the fun and celebratory mood of summer, their new collection Spring Avial is minimal with a pop of colour. Traditional handloom kasav sarees, as always, is the charm of this collection too. The expertise of women weavers from Chendamangalam helped Sreejith curate the sarees. He believes the saree, while being traditional wear, suits the modern woman’s idea of comfort too. “Spring Avial is a different approach to the Kerala handloom.
I have played with colours enhancing gold, silver and red as a quirky yet elegant change,” he says. According to him, the series is also a move to normalise saree as a casual and comfortable wear. “Many clients say they already own the kasavu saree which is a must-have at every Kerala festival. The Spring Avial expands this, as workwear and casual wear. These kasav handloom sarees can be styled with jasmine flowers on the hair or a pair of bold sunglasses. I also wanted to make the weavers experiment with this new design and style,” adds Sreejith.
Thiruvananthapuram based sustainable fashion label Anga by Meenakshi Sajeev is picking out a few innovative outfits for this festive season. Her signature collection comprises handloom kaftans and hopscotch dresses woven from Balaramapuram cotton.
For those who wish to add a contemporary twist to their festive wardrobe, the sustainable collection is a good choice, adds Meenakshi. “I designed the kaftans and dresses as an effort to incorporate traditional Kerala kasav and handloom into casual wear. These are very airy and comfortable. The kaftans and dresses have been stitched with an inner cotton layer. The dresses are breezy with side pockets,” says Meenakshi. The kaftans come with a silver border and zari works.
Meenakshi chooses Balaramapuram cotton for her summer collections as it is skin and body-friendly. She says biodegradable cotton is highly sustainable. “The hopscotch dresses come in simple check designs. These dresses are great for people who love handloom, but cannot walk around wearing a saree always,” says Meenakshi.