Here's how sari Instagrammer Madhulika Kapilavayi went from being an online label to a studio in Alwarpet
With an impeccable eye for colour combinations and textures, Madhulika’s Instagram followers grew from 46,000 last December to over 1 lakh followers to date
Madhulika Kapilavayi’s three-year old label Margazhi has always dedicated themselves to the art of tying a sari. With an impeccable eye for colour combinations and textures, Madhulika’s Instagram followers grew from 46,000 last December to over 1 lakh followers to date. What started out with just 15 patchwork saris in 2014 on social media, is now an aesthetic and visually beautiful studio in Alwarpet. Launching her first store under the same name, Margazhi will serve as a styling studio as well.
Off the shelves
“The store is basically a way for me to get close to my followers,” says the 27-year-old with a smile. “ I have had a huge following over the years on Instagram and some of my clients would love to meet me, and likewise. This studio will make it more accessible for them to come visit me, as opposed to
working out of my small house.”Madhulika is also going to help customers with customisation and styling at her studio. This will also help them familiarise with drapes and materials — something an online brand cannot do otherwise. “It’s like how recently furniture brands have started a studio format, where they can check out the product and how it looks like in their living room or their study.” While some of her saris are curated and then styled, a majority of her collection are designed by Madhulika and the blouses are then stitched by her in-house tailor.
The store will have a mix of everything from her bestsellers to the new designs which she is working on. She operates Margazhi, based on a fabric or a weave that catches her attention. She doesn’t have a fixed weaver unit, but works with several units depending on the pattern they specialise in. Last month, the designer worked with muslin silk and tussar saris with weavers from Kolkata and sold 50 pieces. Similarly, she has worked with weavers from Mangalgiri near Andhra Pradesh and Madurai as well. “I worked with Sungudi and the pieces really sold out. It’s not like these weavers didn’t exist but the industry was dying, and it needed a push. Chinnalapattu was another fabric I loved working with.” The fabric is not pure silk, but it gives you the exact richness of a silk sari, explains Madhulika adding that, “It’s made out of banana stem which I was again, able to bring into the market. This fabric picked up because it dates back to your grandmother’s collection. Not many weavers were working with this fabric anymore.”
Work in progress
Patchwork saris are another bestseller that Madhulika will have in store. These are limited edition pieces, that for some reason has clicked with the audience because of the colour combinations. “It’s not intricate or detailed. It’s very simple,” says Madhulika. She will next be seen working on patchwork inskirts. “When you wear a transparent sari, it’s the same old monotone skirt colour and I think some more detailing and patchwork would give it a great edge.”
At present Madhulika is taking appointments to have style consultations sessions at the studio.
Starts at `2,500 approximately.