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Traditional Craftsmanship in a Timeless Collection

Celebrity designer Sunitha Shanker is confident that her clothing designs and style will never be out of fashion

Published: 02nd March 2016 03:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2016 03:43 AM   |  A+A-

Traditional Craftsmanship

She doesn’t believe in seasonal wears. Though it’s her Spring-Summer collection on display at Amethyst, Sunita Shanker, a designer with over two decades of experience in the industry sticks to her simple beliefs of style, comfort and longevity. Why work on something now and throw it away later?

Sunita, who works predominantly with the traditional crafts of India, says “I don’t think about a spring-based or summer-based collection as such. Whatever I do in the craft sector, I put it together as a collection. My clothes don’t go out of time,” she said adding that her handbag which was made a year ago matches the sensibility of her new collection today.

Called ‘The Water Colour Series’, the garments of red, black, white and blue can be worn over tunics, tees or dresses. “I believe in making clothes that are stylish and easy to wear.” Being one of her classic ranges, which include bhandini, kantha and the ikkat technique, she talks about the simple, traditional craftsmanship that can translate into many contemporary styles.

Traditio.JPGSunita was introduced to traditional techniques when she was studying at NIFT. But, she was in a dilemma: if one is commercialized, the craftsmen lose business. What then?

“It is important that the craft isn’t lost but I’m worried about its overexposure. People are now crazy about Chanderi; it’s improvised and reworked with everything and soon it would fade out.  Now, how will the weavers earn? When we pick a craft, we need to innovate within the parameters of the craft and shouldn’t allow  its vocabulary to get lost,” says Sunita who works with craftsmen from places including Kutch, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh.

Coming back to the collection at display, we asked her about the chosen colours. She says, “These specific colours give a better wearability. And personally, I don’t like too much colour unless we are talking of festival.”

Having been in the industry for so long, Sunita does not mince words when something doesn’t suit a person. So, what is a fashion disaster according to her? “When you don’t know how to put things together to make yourself look good or if you are going to follow the so-called trends despite it not suiting you, it is a disaster.”

To check out Sunita Shanker’s collection, visit Amethyst, Whites Road. It is on display till March 3. For details, call 45991630

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