KOCHI: World of Weaves’, a travelling exposition featuring handloom textiles and handcrafted haute couture will begin its second edition from Kottayam, following which the rendezvous will be held in Kochi, Thrissur and Kozhikode.
As Kottayam gears up to host national fashion designer brands for the inaugural of ‘World of Weaves’, the three-day tour is partnering with clothing brand ‘Boat Song’, based in Kottayam. While a play on silhouettes and colours is anticipated, ‘World of Weaves’ also intends to familiarise and sensitise people on handmade garments, undoubtedly the future.
Organised by the non-profit community ‘Save the Loom’, ‘World of Weaves’ comprises select designers whose wares will have a taste of smaller cities and towns. “The market is more than just pure retail. There will be parallel sessions on various matters ranging from the look and learn workshops on table weaving and natural dyes to smaller workshops that educate people and simplify such tasks.
This also helps the public understand the massive negative impact of fast fashion and the industrial process of textiles that contribute immensely to pollution. The exposition caters to fashion students, those who want to explore and people who would like to learn the craft,” says Ramesh Menon, founder, Save the Loom.
Seven designers — Akaaro by Gaurav Jai Gupta, Divyam Mehta, Joy Mitra; Indigene by Jaya and Ruchi; Pramaa by Pratima Pandey, and Priyadarshini Rao — have been chosen to be a part of the fashion experience. While these ethical brands primarily focus on handcrafted luxury, they’re sticklers for contemporary pieces that centre on heritage and native crafts wherein the artisan comes first. ‘World of Weaves’ with ‘Boat Song’ will be first held in Kottayam from November 26 to 29, 10am-6pm.
Bringing designer wear from a metropolitan city to a smaller city can be a distinct experience. But Pratima Pandey (Pramaa) feels that people are accustomed to travel and as a result, are exposed to different modes of fashion. “Additionally, I would love to see their perspective on the same. Design should be timeless, ageless and relatable, across the world, regardless of the background,” says Pratima, who feels that both designers and buyers are moving towards being more responsible.
‘Fashion is classic’
Conscious clothing brand ‘Indigene’, launched by designers Jaya Bhatt and Ruchi Tripathi, makes a statement through every artisanal piece of clothing. “Fashion has always been aspirational. It comes at a cost and requires you to be of a certain personality to carry it off. But at Indigene, we believe fashion is not trend-driven, it is a classic style that one develops, and nothing makes you feel more stylish than a set of conscious, comfortable, well-made clothes. We want to break the concept of fashion being unapproachable, and one never goes wrong with classic styles which can fit as well in Kottayam as
in Mumbai,” says Jaya.
About local crafts
This is Gaurav Jai Gupta’s second time at ‘World of Weaves’. “It is imperative for ‘Akaaro’ to reach new destinations and educate people. The process is rather long and incessantly evolving. Fashion is no longer about metropolitan cities or Gucci; it is more about local crafts. I’m excited to present in cities like Kochi, which hosts the biennale. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in India and was on top of our lists,” says Gaurav. ‘Akaaro’ will be exhibiting sarees from the festive series, woven garments and ‘Akaaro’ classics which comprise silks, kinds of cotton and sustainable clothes.
Towards an ethical future
According to Divyam Mehta, it is crucial as a designer to not only find new markets but also to explore them. “We would love to share our story and philosophy of entwining native crafts with edgy modernity. Our collection comprises dry flowers and images of flora and fauna that have been converted into prints and embroidery. The silk is native to Bengaluru, West Bengal and Assam. Garments are textured to add relevance,” he says.