Studio Rama's Saras Collection is created for the upcoming Marghazhi season in Chennai
Hyderabad-based designer Rama Rrebbapragada feels that hand-painted kalamkari should be treated as timeless pieces of art. Having worked with kalamkari artisans from Sri Kalahasti for over two decades now, the 50-year-old, who owns her label Studio Rama, makes sure she incorporates the design in most of her collections.
“My love for kalamkari is mainly due to the natural colours that are used in it. Personally, I hate anything bling and have always looked for print fabrics and designs that make me comfortable in any situation. In India, we find ourselves taking part in various occasions and we don’t want to be apologetic about what we are wearing,” begins Rama, who showcased her exclusive collection of kalamkari double-cut saris in the city last year.
Her latest line, the Saras Collection has been curated keeping in mind the upcoming Margazhi season in Chennai. Launching it in the city, Rama will showcase over 100 handloom saris alongside kurtas, ghararas with short tops, and range of Pakistani kurtas with straight pants.
“The whole idea behind this collection is Chennai’s upcoming music and dance festival. There will be a lot of working women who would want to attend a performance in the evening and everyone won’t have the luxury to go back home and change into something festive. I’m creating clothes that these people can use as workwear and also throw in a dupatta and feel dressed enough to attend an evening function,” says Rama, whose clientele boasts of names like Amala Akkineni, Nithya Menen and more recently, Keerthy Suresh.
Featuring colours such as moong dal yellow, deep red, maroon, ochre orange, indigo blue, the kurtas come with a touch of embroidery, either on the sleeves or on its sides.
“We have used a lot of Mugal motifs that will suit the kalamkari dupattas or trousers you can pair it with. We have also used leaves, small twigs, tiny flower motifs, all thrown in different colours. The embroidery is inspired by beautiful flowers and gardens,” she adds.
As for motifs in her Kalamkari pieces, find everything from lotus, water bodies and fish to Ajanta, Ellora figures and even zodiac signs in some sari borders. For the collection, Rama has predominantly worked with handloom fabrics such as uppada silk, Vidarbha tussars, Kanjivaram and Gadwals. Also find pieces in khadi and a few chanderi and mangalagiri cottons - all of which are sourced from Andhra and Telangana.
At the launch, Rama will talk about her experience working with kalamkari artistes and also demonstrate some innovative sari drapes.
4 and 7 pm, 17 to 24 December at Samasta, Alwarpet
Price from 3,500 for kurtas.