The Economic Times

National Handloom Day: Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre And Others Who Made Us Rediscover Weaves

With Love, From India
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With Love, From India

Handlooms, once thought to be the grandmother's attire, have now become the fashion industry's favourite. From rich Benarasi silks to khadis, every designer is turning to the country's craftsmen for their collections.

On National Handloom Day, here's a look at the designers who have made us fall in love with weaves.

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Raw Mango
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Raw Mango

Designer Sanjay Garg, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his brand Raw Mango this year, has been instrumental in the revival of a number of Indian textiles such as chanderi, brocade, mashru, chikankari. Talking about the growing love for handloom, Garg said in an interview to IANS, "I am glad to see more people being involved in preserving our heritage, however, I hope that this is not just a 'trend' or short-lived and instead creates a momentum that continues to support handloom."
In just a decade, Raw Mango has become the go-to brand for many Bollywood celebrities.

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Sabyasachi
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Sabyasachi

Sabyasachi has long been a Bollywood favourite, and every bride's dream designer. The Kolkata-born design guru has always been a promoter of handicrafts. After designing actress Anushka Sharma's red Benarasi saree for her wedding reception, he said, "Bollywood can play a major role in spreading awareness about Indian textiles and handlooms. And I must say the occasion couldn’t be better. I know copies of this saree will flood the entire country in the next few months to come, which also means that a million weaver’s children will be back at school."

Right in pic: The designer's Kalamkari sarees in khadi from Andhra Pradesh are made over a time period of 31 days each. Women from the villages of Barasat create hand-made tassels to fringe the pallu.

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Abraham And Thakore
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Abraham And Thakore

Designers Abraham and Thakore have been pioneering handlooms way before it became fashionable to be associated with them. For the designers, the handloom yarn runs strong. Not just the brand, but the two men behind it, too, started their personal careers working with weavers, long before A&T came into being. While Thakore's diploma project was about Ikat, David Abraham did his on Khadi.

And now, they couldn't be happier to be a part of the handloom resurrection.

Also Read: Handloom sarees are no longer just the grandmother's attire: Designer Rakesh Thakore

Agencies
Anita Dongre
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Anita Dongre

Starting out from her bedroom and balcony in suburban Khar with younger sibling Meena Sehra and just two sewing machines, Anita Dongre has come a long way in her 30 years in the fashion industry.

With a focus on community and sustainability, Dongre works with various NGOs like the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre and collaborates with several artisans to revive age-old crafts.

In Pic: Kajol (r) sporting a dress by Anita Dongre Grassroot, made and hand-embroidered by women artisans of the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre in the remote village of Bakutra. Dongre with actress Kelly Rutherford, who is also sporting a design by Dongre.

Also Read: House of Anita Dongre: How India's largest fashion brand is getting future-ready

Agencies
Payal Khandwala
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Payal Khandwala

Payal Khandwala launched her eponymous label in 2012 , working with weavers to create clothes using silks, khadi, cottons and linens in a rich colour palette.


Talking about handloom making it big, she said in an interview to IANS, "I find lots of young designers are trying to integrate responsible fashion into their ideas. The government is supporting these clusters as part of the Make in India campaign and I see a serious effort to try and focus attention on the plight of our craftsmen and weavers."

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