Heavenly Creatures, Ekaya Banaras’s SS ’20 collection is a tribute to the colours of twilight
Looking at Ekaya Banaras’ last two collections, it would seem as if the skies hold a special fascination for its designer, Palak Shah. Earlier this year, there was Kashi In The Clouds, a collaboration with French couturiers Pierre & Daniel, which marked the label’s debut in the ready-to-wear segment. Now, the designer has unveiled the Spring Summer 2020 collection, Heavenly Creatures, a sartorial ode to celestial spirits and the changing hues of twilight. Originally scheduled for March, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis forced them to rethink their decision and push back the dates of the launch as much as possible. “This collection has been in the making for a year, and when we were ready to launch, the pandemic broke out. It seemed insensitive to unveil it at the time, and that’s why you’re seeing our SS20 collection now,” shares Palak.
Written in the stars
Renowned for her use of contemporary and unconventional motifs on traditional Banarasi weaves, Palak has once again explored unusual patterns such as clouds, stars and crescents. Some saris also feature star-shaped jaal weaves. The twinkling stars of the night skies are brought home through the use of mukaish, while the moods of twilight and dusk are captured through the colour story that shifts from indigo blue and white to jet black, earthy garnet, purple, romantic pink and antique gold. The use of sheer fabrics such as organza further heightens the essence of the moments when day turns to night. “This is an unexplored theme, especially when it comes to Banarasi saris. Traditionally, floral buttas are used, but we’ve created clouds, stars and moons, which are unheard of in this weaving technique,” explains the Delhi-based designer.
The collection is also technically rich with cutwork, reverse cutwork and kadwa being widely used. Besides the celestial motifs, the imagery includes ornamental plants, flowers, leafy vines, and birds. Jamdani too makes an appearance in the outerwear pieces, which are constructed from a mix of silk and organza. “Each motif has been woven separately,” says Palak, adding, “Everyone is working 10 times harder, to make up for what we have lost in the last few months.”
As for what to expect from her going forward, Palak reveals that she is working on a collection involving another interesting weaving technique. “But it’s too early to say anything more,” she signs off.
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