Warssi Kolkata: A new destination for handloom lovers
The first thing that is sure to strike you when you enter Warssi, the new style studio of stylist-cum-designer Anupam Chatterjee, is the lack of ornamentation of any kind whatsoever. Housed in the ground floor of an old residential building, off Rashbehari Avenue in South Kolkata, the small one-room, quaint boutique will transport you to the serene and peaceful world of Santiniketan.
The earthy ambience enhanced by the fragrance of fresh jasmine and lack of air conditioning, has a calming effect. “Like any average Bengali, I have grown up reading Tagore and Santiniketan has a profound influence in my life. Hence, each and everything in the store is natural and handmade and goes back to the roots of rural Bengal,” says 33-year-old Chatterjee, who co-owns the store with his brother Pritam Chatterjee.
The place has been tastefully done up by renowned artistes Soumik Chakraborty and Piyali Sadhukhan, who have won several awards for their installations in the city's Durga puja pandals. Whether it is the block printed curtains, or the straw mats covering the cement floors, or the brass and bell metal utensils and handmade pankhas (fan) used for decoration, each and every object is kept simple and rooted in Bengali history and tradition. The wrought iron racks holding the handloom clothes, are neatly wrapped with upcycled pieces of clothes, giving them a quirky appearance.
The clothes on display, too, tell the story of roots. In earthen colours, all of them are handloom made and defy fitted bespoke fashion. “Anti-fit and boho-chic, my dresses spell comfort and style. There is a motley collection of patchworks, cold shoulders and knee length dresses in attractive pastel shades,” mentions Chatterjee, whose clothes are popular with celebrities including supermodel Noyonika Chatterjee, actors Jaya Ahsan, Rituparna Sengupta, Churni Ganguly, director duo Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy besides others.
The designer, who has been working in the fashion and film industry as a stylist for the past 11 years and trained under designers Debarun Mukherjee and Sayantan Sarkar, always felt the need for a complete style studio in the city, where an individual could not only buy tailormade clothes, but also rework his or her entire look.
“We take care of the entire look of our clients. Instead of a makeover, we stress on highlighting the individuality of a person by enhancing his personality with our clothes and accessories, helping them create their own style statement,” explains the couturier, who also teaches styling and fashion in National Institute of Fashion Technology as a guest faculty.
Chatterjee also retails wedding trousseaus and his handloom lehengas are made out of treated canvas instead of brocades. The blouses accompanying the lehengas are made of kalamkari handloom cotton and paired with jamdani churnis. “I use a lot of Shibori and tie-and-dye instead of sequins and flashy materials. Brides these days prefer wedding dresses that they can wear later, too. Hence our lehengas are designed in such a way that you can pair also them with nice tops,” he avers.
Besides dresses, you will also find saris and the jamdani weaves floored us with their unique patterns and colour combinations besides the ones made of khadi and handloom cotton. The stoles and scarves are also very fashionable and you can pair them with your kurtis or western outfits with equal elan.
Unlike most boutiques, there is a fair share of men’s collection comprising shirts, kurtas, trousers, palazzo and pyjamas, all again very anti-fit. There are ikat trousers, checks and pleated trousers and dart trousers, too.
With Warssi all set to steal the hearts of the upwardly mobile, nature-loving and fashion conscious individuals, Chatterjee, also a champion of the LGBT community, plans to gainfully employ the LGBT people in fashion industry in the future.
Warssi, the style studio
Price on request