Bengal by the bay: The travelling trunk show at MaalGaadi places the spotlight on Jamdani-inspired weaves on gowns and Gamcha checks on dungarees
A day trip to Besant Nagar could transport you to Bengal this weekend. The 2,800 sq ft store MaalGaadi is the final stop en route a six-city travelling trunk show titled ‘Made in Bengal’. Stylist and fashion blogger Chikky Goenka from Kolkata, who curated the event, says, “We will be showcasing 25 designers. The running theme is as stark as the sweet divide of a Chum chum — traditional textiles with new fangled inspiration.”
For an ambient soundscape, expect Bengali film songs and origami fish decor to bring on a hilsa craving.
Debashri Samanta's calling card is what she calls the new-age jamdani weave. Typical of Bengal and patronised as far back as the days of Mughal royalty, this textile is made of the finest muslin. "We strengthen it by adding in a blend of tussar silk and khadi cotton," says the 30-year-old designer, who launched her eponymous label back in 2011. Spending the last four years reconstructing the weave to innovate a brand new fabric, her collections have donned the runways of the Lakme Fashion Week and have caught the attention of everyone from Sonam Kapoor to Kajal Agarwal. The latest line 'Swamp' showcases a colour palette of yellow, blue and fuschia that come in gowns and indo-fusion wear. Price: Rs 10,000 onwards.
We love: This standout dress with frog motifs.
Go with the flow
With khadi dhotis and shrugs a little shorter than a wedding gown train, Sayantan Sarkar describes his latest collection as ‘anti-fit.’ But fluid was just the opposite of his journey to put this collection together. Though based in Kolkata, Sayantan had to take on an arduous road trip to North Bengal to reach weaver looms in Pundi bari (a town near Cooch Behar). To empower senior weavers, he says, “We reconfigured the gradation in the gamcha checks to make them workable only on manual Chittaranjan looms, and not the common powerlooms.” This apart, he switched the traditionally used coarse cotton for a more breathable linen yarn. Rs 3,000 onwards.
We love: The plaid patterns on this breezy, baby blue shrug
Leave it to Rishi Jain and Soujit Bag to turn Begampur cotton into asymmetrical gowns and tunics. The duo from Kolkata began their label a year-and-a-half ago, have already shown at LFW, and will be showcasing at Paris in September this year. “It takes about 25 days to weave a sari or dress by hand,” shares 28-year-old Rishi. Rs 15,000 onwards.
We love: This off-white skirt with a flaming red flamingo embroidered in applique work.
At MaalGaadi. On April 7 and 8. 11 am to 8 pm.