Atreyee and Simonti create magic with handlooms
SIMONTI MOOKHERJEE and Atreyee Basu, former school buddies turned business partners, are busy transforming Bengali weaves into stylish silhouettes. Working with fabrics like jamdani, muslin, cotton and more, the duo give a modern twist to the kurtis and maxi dresses that are a part of their repertoire.
Simonti, with a background in International Relations and Atreyee, a NIFT graduate, started their label, Atr’e: At Craft Design Studio in 2004, with just one tailor. The entrepreneurs supplied costumes for films like Shakti, Pitribhoomi and others. The ever-developing brand changed gears in 2010, and started employing inventive tailoring to create pieces that underscore personality and femininity. They now have 10 inhouse tailors and operate from H e m a n t a M u k h o p a d hyay Sarani near Golpark. “We started on a very small-scale, and we are happy to be in the place that we are in now. People know us for our originality and our products are wor n by people across India,” says Simonti, who is very particular about the nuances of her designs.
The ubiquitous red and white combination — a staple in Bengali fashion — is their favourite, and Atreyee informs us that it’s always a part of their collection. We loved the crisp maxi dress in hazarbooti jamdani in the combination, with pintucks on the bodice. Another piece that caught our attention was an ikat red maxi dress with a slip-on jacket in cotton handloom. Kantha work adds the right amount of glamour to the dresses, which can be worn comfortably for any social occasion. Applique and patchwork can also be found in their collection, though they keep things at a minimum. “Cotton looks great on all body types, and it’s a fabric for all seasons. Also, layering works as a good camouflage. So we have a lot of jacketstyle dresses. Women from 16 to 60 years, with different body types, can wear our label without any inhibitions,” informs Atreyee.
In their late 30s, the duo lends modern touches to handlooms, with unique cuts. Asymmetrical cuts, high a n d l ow h e m s, b e l l sleeves and handkerchief cuts lend the silhouettes an Indo - Western outlook. Their kaftans and cowl dress are for fashionistas, and we instantly became fans of the Enchanted Garden series, featuring cacti patchwork over stripped handloom cotton. Expectedly, the duo is looking at sustainable fashion in the near future.