Two sisters who left the corporate world were recently in the city to exhibit their interpretation of the bridge that they are attempting to build between the artisan and the market. It would not be utterly wrong to say that fashion is nothing but a trend that keeps reinventing itself in the smallest and the biggest manner.
How is what you would probably wonder ? Think about it, while the big fashion houses and labels work in a cycle — renovating and innovating the trends of yesteryear on a smaller scale, artifacts like hand loom and delicate artistry is seeing the light of day once again.
HandsOfIndia, an organisation that was started by two sisters, over six years ago just finished exhibiting their products. Based out of Uttar Pradesh, the two sisters left the corporate sector to bridge the gap between the market and the artisans. Their exhibition that was held at the Lady Jehangir Hall has an interesting fusion of the East and the West.
More like, the Western interpretation of the Eastern handicraft.
Shift dresses, tops with delicate pleats and tucks, wraparound skirts, kurtis and even sarees. “The hottest selling items in our exhibition were the anarkalis.
They literally sold like hot cakes. Our products are made using hand woven fabrics and materials from one state, while the work done on it could be from another.
For instance, we had many kota sarees ( a fabric made in Rajasthan) with phulkari (Punjabi embroidery) work on it,” says Malyada. While the kurtas and the salwar pieces had a bit of embroidery, the western wear was a play of fabric on fabric. “We do not like bling. That is why you will find no product with any shiny or heavy work. All the ornamentation done on the products is very light,” says Ramya, the other sister. Adding to that she said that the focus was on the ease with which clothes could be altered. “We carry our altering team everywhere we go,” she informs. Explaining their reason to shy from the bling, the sisters say that for them it is bringing to light the intricate work done by many artisans in the country.
“Till now we have been working with 25 groups of artisans. We train them and educate them about the combinations and the styles. Once they get the hang of it, we let them make the decisions. In fact they also sit with us during our discussion about the work and the fabric,” says Ramya. This was the second time that the duo exhibited their work and collection in the city. “During the first visit we noticed and realised that it was not just the older generation that was drawn to handloom products. The younger lot was equally if not more interested in it. This time it was a mixed age group of people who were interested in both the products and apparels,” says Malyada.
The sisters will be coming back to the city this Autumn. “We will bring our products once again, for we have realised that there are people who not only genuinely appreciate the product but also understand its value. Our products are priced in a manner that more emphasis is laid on the handwork with a minor margin for profit,” she smiles.