Special: CIMA unveils Art in Life with four exclusive looks donned by actor Susmita Chatterjee
CIMA (Centre of International Modern Art) is back with its much-awaited Art in Life exhibition and this time it’s all about going green and sustainable
With the pandemic slowly retreating, people are bracing up to return to normal life and what better way could there be than to time it with the Pujas. With all of us gearing up for the festive buying to begin, CIMA, as always, is all ready to set the trend for this year’s Puja fashion with its much-awaited Art in Life exhibition. The entire edit of textile and accessories has an effervescent youthful appeal and spirit to it and the ensembles can be worn in whichever way one wants.
“To suit the mood of the times Art in Life this year is celebrating sustainability as an overriding theme. A whole range of eco-printed saris is being showcased by Beej and Co, a label founded by artist Vishal Bhand and his designer wife Bijoya Haldar. These saris are essentially natural organic leaf imprints on pure Bengal silk, chiffon and hemp-derived fabrics. All the colours used are derived from natural sources including leaves, flowers, spices and roots. Being marketed for the first time in India, each sari is a unique piece and it’s almost like owning an exclusive piece of art,” shares Rakhi Sarkar, director of CIMA Art Gallery and the driving force behind Art in Life.
There is also a fascinating collection of handwoven Chhattisgarhi silks called Dolabedi saris with exotic pallus besides exquisite woven wonders from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, ajrakhs and ikkats from Gujarat; and saris from tribal looms and contemporary weaves from Odisha. “Of course, exquisitely woven Bengal handlooms including dhakais, dhaniakhalis, kanthas and benarasis are an integral part of the show this year,” adds Rakhi.
Besides the carefully curated edit of indigenous weaves, you can also choose from the exclusive offerings of homegrown popular designers like Paramita Banerjee and Paroma Ghosh. There’s also a whole range of men’s fashion wear from Shunyaa that celebrates and pays homage to the celebrated late designer Sharbari Datta (Shunyaa was co-created by Sharbari and Reshmi Bagchi).
“Minimalistic designs on natural fibres will dominate the fashion scene this Puja. And to match the steps, we have handcrafted textile bags, large funky beaded Ladakhi jewellery, oxidised and silver filigree jewellery, tribal brass necklaces and metallic and beaded bracelets — all handcrafted by indigenous artisans from across the country. And of course, hand-printed, embroidered masks are also there to complete the look,” shares Rakhi.
And if you want to deck up your interiors too, then you can dart a quick glance at their fabulous collection of decorative wooden and papier-mâché masks from Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh which will be on display along with antique and contemporary brass items. As an exclusive preview of the exhibition, we showcase four gorgeous looks donned by the vivacious actress Susmita Chatterjee.
The exhibition will be inaugurated by actress Moon Moon Sen and will be from September 6 to October 11, 11 am to 8 pm, including Sundays.
Actor Susmita Chatterjee gives us a glimpse of her lifestyle choices
Puja fashion choices: I prefer traditional saris, kurtis and other Indo-Western outfits when it comes to Durga Puja and my choice of fabrics include linen, khadi and organza. The special Puja buys this year include a pair of expensive shoes that I’ve been eyeing for a long while now, and a really nice silver nose pin.
Fashion choices: I love out-of-the-box fashion and there should be an element of a quirk in my looks even if it’s as casual as shorts and tops. The sari is my all-time favourite outfit. For casual wear, my choices vary from T-shirts, dresses, shorts and crop tops to an evergreen white shirt. My favourite colour is yellow and I also love grey and lavender. I love oxidised silver jewellery.
Fitness and diet: I am a big-time foodie and I love eating phuchkas, biryanis, pizzas and desserts like brownies and ice creams. Breakfast is usually bread and butter, eggs and coffee and lunch and dinner mean simple Bengali meals comprising veggies, fish or meat. My comfort drink is coffee and I love drinking sugarcane juice and sattu (gram flour) sherbet. I also love tea in clay kulhars from roadside stalls.
Skin and hair care: I use baby oil, moisturiser, face wash and toner for my skin and apply coconut oil on my hair. Beauty essentials in my bag: Moisturiser, lip balm, sunscreen and wet wipes.
Upcoming projects: Currently shooting for Khela Jokhon by Arindam Sil.
Model: Susmita Chatterjee | Pictures: Siladitya Dutta | Hair and makeup: Abhijit Paul | Styling: Neel Saha | Saris and jewellery: CIMA