Mumbai-based fashion label Musiri launches a collection of khadi and chiffon saris

Expect soft pinks and green with motifs such as clouds and dragonflies

Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo Published :  15th November 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  15th November 2019 12:00 AM

Musiri is a quiet town on the banks of the river Cauvery in the Tiruchirapalli district of Tamil Nadu. It is also the hometown of Mumbai-based Oviya Sekar and the name of her three-year-old sustainable fashion label. Known for her whimsical and easy day dresses and tops made from traditional handwoven fabrics, Oviya now extends her repertoire to include saris. 

A sari from the collection
A sari from the collection

Eco edge
“For most of my life, I had never questioned where my clothes came from. My main priorities were cost and how good they looked. But now, I understand and care about the impact fast fashion has on the environment. Right from the amount of waste generated and employees’ working conditions to the kind of materials used, there are too many negatives,” says Oviya, when asked how it all began. “I started off making clothes for myself, my friends and family. Then, I opened an Etsy shop and eventually an Instagram page. A website is in the making, but social media and word of mouth have really been how I’ve kept this alive for three years,” adds the self-taught designer.

Oviya in one of her designs
Oviya in one of her designs

Her clothes, which boast a timeless aesthetic, are crafted from fabric sourced from weavers in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Manipur. They are then tailored into different silhouettes by artisans in Mumbai. “I feel it is important to create things that people will love and wear for several years, maybe even decades and pass on as heirlooms,” she explains. 

Thread talk
The collection of saris, which is her latest, was created in collaboration with karigars in Mumbai. It is a line-up of khadi cotton and silk chiffon weaves embroidered with dreamy motifs such as fish, clouds, toucans, dragonflies and as Oviya puts it, ‘an assortment of happy things.’ Techniques used range from French embroidery and resham work to pitta work and gota patti. “We thought the festive and wedding season is a good time to bring out a collection of saris. Not to toot my own horn, but they turned out beautifully. As a sari lover, I’ve tried to keep one of each, but with great difficulty parted with them when people have asked,” she says, on a lighter note.

A dress from one of her earlier collections
A dress from one of Musiri's earlier collections

Though she’s just made her foray into saris, Oviya shares that she will continue to create her signature dresses that employ crafts such as Rajasthani handblock prints and Pochampally ikat. But besides that, she is also working on a line of jackets and trench coats. “I’m trying to make them in both light and heavy materials to suit different weather conditions,” she says, signing off. 

Saris Rs.12,000 upwards. Available online