With synthetics and powerlooms becoming passé, designers are now heavily investing in handlooms and traditional designs. While some are getting onto it now, there are others, like Bengaluru-based designer Latha Puttana, who have been in the traditional industry for about two decades now. Coming to the city soon with her festive collection, Puttana tells us more about her sense of style.
“I usually come to Hyderabad twice a year; once in March and once about now. Given the festivals lined up in these two months, my exhibition this time of the year is always festive,” says the designer who is also the head designer at Karnataka Silk Industry Corporation. Having been coming to the city regularly in the last decade and more religiously over the past five years, she says her collection this time is different from before because of the kind of weave.
“I have focused on weaves this time and have used my own weavers to create different textures. It’s something I have been developing for a while. What I’ve done is mixed the textiles to create different mixes. Nowadays in the market there are a lot of attachments - pieces of silk attached to cotton and so on. Instead, we have woven the different textiles into a smooth mix. There are silks with georgettes, with cotton, tissue silk and so on.”
Besides just mixing the weave, Puttana has also embellished her collection with embroidery. “Our indigenous textile industry is rich with so many artisans. Yet the trade is a dying trade. Which is why I’ve also used embroiders on the weaves. At the same time, I’ve tried to make them as fashionable as possible, as trendy and chic as one would like their sarees to be.”
A passionate champion of the traditional, Puttana’s dedication to the diminishing community of weavers and embroiders is evident when she talks of her designs.
“I don’t think we’ll ever find Ikkath, Pochampally, Ajrak and Kalamkari if we don’t support their production. Even abroad, the appreciation for our textiles is large. I love working with these because there’s a rich heritage behind our textiles; everything has a story.”
Aiming to keep her collection subtly vivid and timelessly classic, Puttana says that she plays around with her cuts and colours, “not for it to be out there, but there’s enough peek-a-boo and femininity all wrapped up together.”
Puttana’s collection will have on display mostly sarees and salwars, with mix-and-match blouses, besides complementary blouses to the saree. Prices will begin at `10,000 and go up to about `25,000.
Puttana’s brand Shrishti comes to the city on October 6 at Trinity Hall, Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills, from 10 am to 8 pm.