Kashmir-inspired garments, motifs and craft traditions take centrestage at Orzuv boutique
Walking through the Orzuv boutique (a property that also houses a cosy Kashmiri cafe) is like immersing yourself in the sartorial traditions of Kashmiri women. Saba Bhat the proprietor takes us around the store and at regular intervals, stops at racks to pull out long garments (called phiran in Kashmiri), plush jackets, intricately embroidered crop tops and long flowing dresses to give us a taste of what Orzuv is all about. “Kashmiri gift emporiums don’t do justice to the craft traditions of my home state,” says Saba, before you can write off her store as just another agarbatti-perfumed space that stocks everything from hand-crafted knick knacks to Pashmina shawls. “Here, we aim to present all things that stand for Kashmir, including crafts and traditions that are not well known,” she explains.
Take their traditional garment, the phiran, for example. An ankle-length affair with sleeves, the phiran is traditionally worn just by itself. But over the years, Kashmiri women have started pairing it with a long jacket or wearing it over other clothes. At Orzuv, the phirans from their debut collection, Nouvnishaan are made from handloom fabrics. One can also pick from crop tops, statement jackets, dresses, farshi pajamas, saris and trousers fashioned out of kala cotton, linen and Kashmiri silk. The much-loved aari work is well represented across the collection, and hand-embroidered motifs that stand for Kashmir too find place on the garments.
The motifs range from their state animal, hangul (reindeer) and sheep to the sattut (hoopoe bird), which signifies the arrival of spring. A little bit more on the dressy side, the traditional tilla work (embroidery with golden thread) is also part of Nouvnishaan. “To create a tilla border on a sari takes about three to six months,” reveals Saba, who has a background in television. You’ll also find their kani weaves on the softest Pashmina shawls. “Kani weaving sees colourful designs being woven into the fabric, rather than being printed or embroidered,” she explains.
The pieces, once designed, are sent to Kashmir, along with fabrics (if sourced from other parts of the country) where they are embroidered, stitched and finished. “We have a team of artisans who work for us,” shares Saba. Orzuv’s next collection, Khayaal will use hemp fabrics and dyes made from discarded temple flowers.
Rs.2,000 upwards. At Whitefield. Details: 8779415064