It’s been a decade since Delhi-based textile designer and couturier Rema Kumar burst onto the scene with her exquisite collections of hand-woven saris and she’s now a popular name in the country’s textile enthusiast circles. Beginning her foray into designing after her graduation 30 years ago, she began working in the garment export industry before discovering her passion for textiles. Known, more recently, for her sari upcycle project that was popular during the COVID-19 lockdowns, Rema returns to Chennai after a hiatus with a brand new collection, Textile Tales, and we catch up with her to find out more.
“I am trying to narrate tales from across India with this collection. I wanted to bring in various kinds of weaves and detailing techniques that could showcase my experiences in the field. I have been working with textile for the last 25 years and I like that each of my creations have a unique story to tell. I weave in a different place, the detailing is done elsewhere, the hand blocks are done at my workshop — so each piece is always one-of-a -kind with elements from different techniques that come together to create something special. There are no repeats,” begins the designer.
Exploring the world of India’s diverse and celebrated surface detail techniques on different fabrics like batik, ajrakh, kalamkari, hand block, pipli appliqué, embroidery, dori work, ari work, zardosi, patti ka kaam, kantha and lambani embroidery; the collection includes saris, dupattas, blouses and kurtas in cottons, chanderis, uttaras, maheshwaris, banarasis, champa tussars and linen.
“This collection has some special tussars from Champa in Chhattisgarh and some checks and stripes from Maheshwari and I am really excited because I am coming back to maheshwaris after a while. Incidentally, I began my work in textile with maheshwaris and mangalgiris. So, you can expect weaves from my Woven Fables sub-collection and hand block pieces from my Printed Narratives sub-collection. I don’t believe in seasons or colour palettes, I just go with the flow. I always ensure I have muted and bright shades in all my collections, so there’s always something for everyone,” concludes the couturier.
INR 1,500 onwards. November 23 to 26. At Weddings and Marigolds Studio, Lakshmanan Street, T Nagar.