Vaishali Shadangule
Vaishali Shadangule

Style, bit by bit is my formula says Vaishali Shadangule

Fashion designer Vaishali Shadangule romanticises scrap fabric in her debut home décor collection

Call it a fairy tale dressing for your spaces, but Vaishali Shadangule’s latest collection Tawiz (amulet) is a bewitching expression in art. It also marks the 46-year-old fashion designer’s foray into home décor with a nature-led narrative. “Design is my language,” says Shadangule, who has used scraps of leftover cloth to bring to life creations that re-interpret the meaning behind the amulets from different Indian states.

The fabric compositions bring in over 10 ebbing weaves from across the country. These don different forms, knitting together the sentiments of diverse religions. “The fascinating thing is that it’s the same thread with the same promise of protection, but it changes colour as it travels through communities, and it is this beautiful sentiment that I wove into this collection,” she says, adding, “Following my love for the lesser-known, forgotten weaves, I have incorporated embroideries such as chanderi, kesapat, maheshwari, moga, jamdani, kota, pashmina, khand and paithani.”

The collection features cheerful throws, rugs, cushion covers, bedspreads, curios and artworks carrying a unique cultural imprint. “Every 25 km across the soil of India, the motifs, colours and threads change. For me, our culture is the biggest crucible of creativity and inspiration,” says Shadangule.

Born and raised in the small town of Vidisha in central India, she nourished a deep knit with nature through her early days. Repurposing old clothes, taking care of plants, and using fruits and vegetable discards in art was a part of her life. The ethos slowly found its way into her signature cords that rule her fashion creations.

“The thought of throwing away leftover fabric is painful for me,” she says, adding, “I always try to create something beautiful using scrap fabric. My concept is like breath. It works like a string, an umbilical cord that links us to nature, to life. The signature cord—an expression of leftover fabric—in my creations is a representation of this string. It connects fabric to life in the form of garments, and now in wall art, lampshades, and home accessories too,” she says, running her gaze over the displayed pieces, with gleeful spurts in hand embroidery, cavorting cords in fluid forms, floral shapes and whimsical bends. The sustainable home accessories simply narrate a story of metamorphosis, of conscious living, with a uniquely Indian identity.

To this end, Shadangule brought in broken doors from dumping grounds into the décor of her expansive store in south Bombay, using red and green glass bangles to beautify old rods, and hammering hooks onto weathered, discarded window frames for hanging her haute couture creations. What’s next? “This is just a start,” she says. “I want to take my home décor all over the world and show the versatility of our weaves to everyone. It is a narrative stemming from our heritage that deserves to unfurl on the global stage,” she says. Availability: Vaishali-s.com

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The New Indian Express
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