Here's how Chennai-based label Priyanjoli is bringing together the artisan and weaver community
Priyanjoli will be making the shift from online to brick and mortar this month with their first address in Adyar
CHENNAI-based designer Priyanjoli Basu’s love for handwoven textiles goes far beyond her pieces, which are made for urban women on-the-go. Inspired by stories about saris from her mother and grandmother, the 34-year-old’s eponymous label now has a store in Adyar, and will further help her build the weavers’ community across the country. The slow fashion label is doing this by bridging the gap between traditional techniques and the constant evolution of modern fabric.
Priyanjoli’s line has an array of basics like casual tops and informal jackets, that are perfect for work wear. The Sunflower Dress, for example, is a breezy dress in mustard, with ruffled sleeves, while the gorgeous Moonlight Jamdani Dress is a light, handwoven princess cut dress that adds a sense of chic to your workwear. Scroll down her Instagram page and you’ll see an eclectic range of dresses that looks just about perfect for the city's unforgiving weather. “My most obvious choice of fabrics was Bengal cotton and over the last few years, I have worked really hard to create new textures and new weaves like the khadi cotton, cotton and jute, jamdani and linen, linen cotton and matka silk,” says the Kolkata-born designer. who was previously a Bollywood stylist and studio manager, for photographer Avinash Gowariker. Priyanjoli entered the market in 2012, when there were very few brands selling sustainable clothing. Over the years, the number of labels taking part in responsible fashion has doubled, and Priyanjoli is glad that she was one of the first to start the movement.
With whimsical designs and relaxed silhouettes, Priyanjoli juxtaposes contemporary design sensibilities onto the framework of textile craftsmanship in the country. She also doesn’t follow any season-based collections. And while she sources most of her fabrics from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, her weavers work out of West Bengal and most of the garment work is done at her studio in Chennai.
Ask her how she feels about her first store and she says she is excited, but nervous as well. “I can finally have a place where I can focus on customisation and channel my energy towards women who wear a Priyanjoli outfit.” The store will house 30-40 designs in many different textiles and sizes. She is now in the process of exploring a festive wear collection for the store, exclusively.
In Indira Nagar, Adyar.
Starting at `4,000.