IT HAS been just roughly 20 days since Chennai girl Neena Reddy started her first online label, Tanoti. She specialises in elegant hand-painted saris, some of which takes 30-40 hours to complete. The 25-year-old combines art and textile, and believes that her pieces are what she likes to call ‘wearable art’.
Serve to strokes
“I did my bachelors in visual arts, specialisation in design and masters in fine arts with specialisation in textile design,” says Neena “So I’ve always been around art, textiles, design and painting. I have always been very passionate about designing ever since I was young.” Even though Neena was a national level tennis player, design and art seemed to be her calling. Neena goes by the ethos of the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, which in traditional Japanese aesthetics means acceptance of imperfections.
Tanoti specialises in hand-painted pieces which can be customised according to the client’s requirements of fabric choices and colour choices. “I would like my design to compliment the person wearing my product. So you will be able to see that the designs do not overpower the models in the photos,” says Neena. Neena first sources the fabric from anywhere between Dubai and Andhra Pradesh. She then sketches design options for it, makes templates and then after much trial and error, starts working on the actual fabric. Neena has currently started out with a set of five saris as part of her Introductory Handpainted Saris collection.
As you scroll through her Instagram (@designtanoti), you’ll also come across colours like a bright pink kota silk, that is hand painted on with light pink and yellow roses. There’s also a gorgeous grey linen cotton sari with self zari checked design. Neena teamed up with her friend Kiruba Krishnan, an upcoming wedding and fashion photographer, and sourced jewellery from city-based silver jewellery label PraDe which is owned by Deepthi Muthusamy. While she does not own a studio just yet, she works from her home and is a one-woman army — from sourcing the fabrics to painting them. She loves working on linens, silks, kotas, tussars, georgettes, organzas and tissues. Ask her what her most intricate piece was and she says that the linen grey sari and the Kota silk grey sari took about 30-40 hours to finish each of it. “I like to work on intricate designs for most of my pieces as I love detailing, especially the floral motifs. However I would be doing a lot more intricate pieces in the future which would even take about 100 hours. Now, that’s going to be a surprise!” Neena is currently only working on saris, but will soon be adding dupattas and stoles to her upcoming collections.
Starting from `4,000.