Blooming beauties: Designer Anavila Misra's new collection of saris
Clothing brand Anavila unveils a festive collection of linen saris and separates inspired by the bougainvillea
Don’t you just love it when you’re driving down a city street and, suddenly, you are greeted by a burst of colour in the form of bougainvillaea by the side of the road? Those shocks of pink, orange and white are indeed a sight for sore eyes, bursting in a merry celebration of beauty as a rebellion against neglect. But here’s a little secret about this riotous creeper. Its flowers are barely visible to the eye, so the clever plant transforms some of its leaves into bright explosions of colour to attract more insects for pollination.
It is this humble vine that has inspired designer Anavila Misra’s new collection of saris and separates. A medley of bright, happy colours with hand-drawn motifs and detailed bougainvillaea prints on saris and dupattas. It also includes silk coord sets and garden shirts for an easy, breezy festive joy. There are also linen saris in solid festive tones, unusual plaids, stripes and metallic sheen. These are paired with blouses detailed with zari and delicate hand embroideries.
Called ‘Kagaj Baha’, the collection takes its name from the Santhali term for this flowering creeper. Misra says, “I have worked with Santhali craftspeople for years, studying their intricate khatwa (applique) work. I remember then hearing peals of laughter as children ran around the village delighted at the bloom of bougainvillaea, or kagaj baha as they call it. These are memories that always put a smile on my face and remind me of the simple pleasures in life. I wanted to infuse this festive collection with that same sense of joy and wonder, filling it with striking visuals like the bougainvillaea does in every corner.”
Anavila, the brand, came into being just over a decade ago when the designer returned home after a short stint abroad. After considerable thought and perseverance with various clusters and artisans, the first linen sari was created, hence disrupting the sari design and creating a completely modern, comfortable and desirable sari. “We have been constantly evolving in the last few years, while firmly holding on to our core values of creating comfort through innovation and design working closely with artisanal clusters,” says Misra.