Bags to the ethnic future

She is fascinated by anything handmade and is constantly exploring ways to blend crafts with modern lifestyle choices and tastes.

Published: 02nd December 2012 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2012 08:55 AM   |  A+A-

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She is fascinated by anything handmade and is constantly exploring ways to blend crafts with modern lifestyle choices and tastes. She loves to work with Indian textiles and craft techniques to create beautiful handcrafted products that have a perfect amalgamation of traditional and modern outlook. Meet Aditi Prakash the creator of Pure Ghee Designs, a brand of handmade bags.

Made from the softest cotton, synthetic fabrics and even lungi material, Aditi manufactures bags that are functional, comfortable and most importantly, trendy and fashionable. Now based in New Delhi, this Hyderabad-born designer describes her brand as chic, bold, unexpected, fearless and sophisticated.

Pure Ghee began with the concept of approaching handbags as if they are clothing. Experimentation with shapes form an integral part to the designing of the bags. This juxtaposition is something that is constantly challenged in the brand as a whole. As a designer, Aditi finds inspiration in nature, history and technology.

Aditi’s bags celebrate the diversity of Indian design, whether it’s with ajrak fabric or kitschy sarongs. “After having worked in the crafts sector for over seven years as a consultant, I felt the need to get involved in a more comprehensive way. I started Pure Ghee Designs to have a greater stake in the product cycle from concept to end user stage,” says Aditi adding, “I always use craft as a starting point in my designs but I combine it with new materials wherever required to make the product more functional and in tune with contemporary requirements.”

Aditi went on to study Industrial Design from NID (National School of Design). “At NID, I learnt the whole process of how a product is conceived and how it reaches the market. After I passed out I worked with traditional craft communities across the country. I realised that whatever I did, I had to add a handmade element to it,” she says adding, “I developed an indepth knowledge of the field while working under Jaya Jaitley as a designer for Dastkari Haat Samiti.”

The exquisite, hand-painted designs of Aditi are a meticulous fusion of art and fashion. Beautifully constructed and saturated with rich colours, these detailed works of “functional art” are a fresh alternative in a sea of today’s mass produced bags.

Every bag from this brand is in vibrant and cheery colours. Be it the gamcha from the Bihar, unusual patchwork from Jharkhand, lungis from Hyderabad and Kochi, block printed ajrak from Bhuj or the shamiana material, all find a place at Aditi’s workshop.

“I seek to work with craftspeople as collaborators. I discuss the concept with them and then we brainstorm together to explore the idea further. I like the final product to be rooted in their traditional vocabulary and reflect the strengths of their art form. The experience is immensely satisfying when we collaborate as equals in the creation of the product,” says Aditi.

For Aditi, who is passionate about travelling to new places, inspiration stems from observing people’s lives in different cultures. “My inspiration always begins with the fabric itself. I collect various kinds of fabrics and develop new variations all the time,” says Aditi.

Pure Ghee Designs was named after a craftsperson who brought me a gift of homemade ghee from his village. For him, it was the best gift possible as it was pure, homemade, and precious.

Her latest collection—Allika or weave in Telugu is a celebration of handwoven, naturally dyed cotton from Andhra Pradesh.

“It is crucial to study the cultural context and the historical background of a craft form before using it in a design exercise,” says Aditi.The prices of her bags ranges between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,500.



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