Nayaab brings together designers who are offering the heritage Benares weave a modern appeal

The three-day showcase will feature design houses like Torani, Urvashi Kaur, En Inde and Kora

author_img R Vargese Published :  26th July 2019 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  26th July 2019 06:00 AM


From finding its way to fashion week runways to becoming part of new-age weaving projects, the traditional Benares weave has always remained in fashion, though its form has evolved greatly. Celebrating designers whose experiments with the fabric has produced newer iterations of the older Benarasi form, city-based textile enthusiasts and entrepreneurs Sharan Apparao and Roopa Sood will be hosting 18 labels as part of their annual exhibition called Nayaab.

Highlighting the curators love for everything ‘Benares-inspired’ the three-day pop-up starting on August 1, will feature design houses like Torani, Urvashi Kaur, En Inde and Kora, among others. “Benares is the most important textile centre in the country, This showcase has been part of our efforts to bring to the fore designers who are working with this Indian textile craft on an exceptional level,” says Sharan Apparao, who is also the founder/curator at Apparao Galleries. 

Here are some brands to look forward to:

Abha Dalmia
Veteran Benaresi designer Abha Dalmia’s earliest memories of brocades dates back to when she grew up in her grandparents’ home in Uttar Pradesh. Though her tryst with the fabric started only at a much later date, the self-confessed textile enthusiast has experimented with Japanese motifs such as cranes, bamboo, Thai ikats in her designs. Pioneering the use of silver badla (beaten metal), the New-Delhi based designer was the first to use silver zari as opposed to golden zari in her designs. Bringing pieces from multiple collections, look out for drapes in a blend of fabrics like silk organza, brocade, georgette and tanchoi.

Rs 25,000 onwards. 

Swati and Sunaina
Designers Swati Agarwal and Sunaina Jalan’s love for the heritage Benares weaves saw them working to revive the Rang-kaat (colour cut) — a time-consuming technique that involves the use of multiple colours. This time around, their experiments have seen them reinterpreting the gyasar textile that has traditionally been woven in Benares. “The fabric was originally made as upholstery and lining material for Tibetan monasteries,” explains Swati Agarwal, who makes up one half of the label Swati and Sunaina. Conducting ‘a design intervention’ on a textile that involved thick satin and was heavily decorated, the duo will showcase a fabric that is thinner and malleable and can be easily draped as a sari as part of their Gyasar collection.

Price on request.

All of 27 years and Palak Shah’s contribution towards the Benares craft has been manifold. As a fourth-generation entrepreneur running a 70-year-old textile manufacturing unit in Varanasi, the London-educated business management graduate’s notable experiments with the fabric has seen her brand, Ekaya collaborate with designers like Abraham & Thakore, Archana Rao and Anupamaa Dayal. While the label’s mainstay includes techniques like kadwa, fekua, cutwork, gyasar and jamdani, the revival collection that recreates chikankari and Parsi gara embroidery on Benarasi will also be part of the city showcase. Rs 25,000 upwards.

From August 1 to 3. At Crowne Plaza. 10.30 am.