Trends with traditions - The New Indian Express

Trends with traditions

Published: 07th November 2012 09:20 AM

Last Updated: 07th November 2012 09:20 AM

Usha Ragunathan, who runs Ushas, a saree boutique, has been playing a key role in taking the six-yard revolution to a new level, for the last three decades.

Ushas, a boutique for sarees and designer blouses, combines tradition and contemporary appeals of a saree. She says, “The best thing about the saree is that it can never go out of fashion. There is always room to innovate. Sarees have also caught the fancy of designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who have explored it to an extent that they have become fashionable, as well,” she says.

Tucked in the corner of a green neighbourhood, a little away from the ever-busy Nungambakkam High Road, Ushas calls for attention with its old world charm.

With sarees in silk, cotton, a mix of cotton and silk, tussar and kota with kalamkari, hand painting and applique works, the boutique has designer blouses to match the sarees too.

Ushas specialises in handloom sarees and sources stock from weavers in Kancheepuram and Aaarani in Tiruvannamalai.

For Usha Ragunathan, a pilot-turned-writer, the tryst with sarees began as a passion. I used to experiment various looks with sarees on my daughter,” she says, tracing the journey that began thirty years ago. Today, her clientele comprises stalwarts and fashionistas such as Jaya Bachchan, Rekha, Kirron Kher and Shabana Azmi. The prolific actors and interestingly all of them politicians as well have inaugurated her exhibitions.

Ragunathan, who holds exhibition for her sarees in several cities across India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Bengaluru, says that she finds the tastes in sarees differs with each state. “In Delhi, the crowd is arty; they prefer sarees that have an artistic appeal, whereas in Kochi, people like simple, crisp designs. In Mumbai, the sizeable Jain population loves silks. I visit Ahmedabad frequently and am always amazed by the variety in materials available there,” she says.

With Deepavali round the corner, Ushas is brimming with activity, with its new range of colourful collection to complement the festival of lights. “Navarathri and Deepavali are two occasions  I always focus on. The collection for the occasion is dominated by bright colours,” she says.

Ushas is located at 2/16, 3rd Street, Dr Thirumurthi Nagar, Nungambakkam.

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