Six Yards of Linen, With a Tribal Touch - The New Indian Express

Six Yards of Linen, With a Tribal Touch

Published: 02nd April 2014 07:34 AM

Last Updated: 02nd April 2014 02:38 PM

After an astounding response at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week, Mumbai-based Anavila Misra brings her collection ‘The Secret Life of the Forest’ to Chennai. Taking inspiration from the luxurious linen sarees in earthy colours and the foliage that are brought alive by the dragonflies, flowers and berries, the collection reverberates with the spirit of the forest.

From the deftly crafted patchwork to the rich jamdhanis, the collection is also an example of the vast reserve of design and textiles from the hinterlands of India. The foliage on fabric has imprints of the fine work by the tribal women of Jharkhand.

An alumnus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, Haryana-born Anavila began designing western wear. But, after being associated with the Craft Cluster Development Project in 2004, she made a radical shift to the six-yard wonder. After the project, Anavila chose to work closely with the rural and tribal weavers, resulting in a design vocabulary that is exclusive to her collection. 

Interweaving a fine thread of interdependence with traditional weavers and craftspersons from across West Bengal and Benaras, Anavila says that the designs in the collection reflect only a fraction of the rich craftsmanship. She says, “It is difficult to get back to western wear, after you have been exposed to the richness of traditional Indian crafts.”

The 10-year-old romance with the traditional wear has led to her linen line that has made waves, cutting across several divides of region and demography. And, so Chennai is no exception, she adds. Anavila is confident that something as radical as the linen line is going to find takers in the predominantly ‘silk saree wearing’ crowd of the city.  “Good designs and exquisite work are always going to find takers. It doesn’t matter if we are in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai. I say this out of experience, as someone who has been visiting the city on and off for the last couple of years,” she says. The designer recalls, “When I first came here, I thought kanjeevaram enthusiasts were not going to accept this idea. But then the response the designs have had here has been more than positive.”

Priced between `12,500 and `35,000, The Secret Life of the Forest is available at  Amethyst, Whites Road, Royapettah, till April 9.

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