Designers showcase clothing made from khadi, kota during Rajasthan Heritage Week


Jaipur: Shirts, kurtas, dresses, suits, saris, jumpsuits and coats — all this and more in khadi and kota were at the core of the eclectic showcase on day one of the Rajasthan Heritage Week, which went underway here on Thursday.

Designers, both Indian and international — as well as award-winning weavers, showcased the versatility of weaves and crafts from the state.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who attended the gala, was impressed by the possibilities that the designers explored with fabrics and techniques native to the state.

Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell, who works closely with artisans and weavers in Rajasthan, opened the gala with a bright and wearable line.

Saris, skirts, dhotis, kurtas, shawls and pants, all well-accessorized with ethnic belts, headgear, jewelry or tie-ups, made up Russell’s collection, which was vibrant and soothing to the eye.

The designer, who considers Rajasthan her second home, took a much-deserved bow with the local artisans whose skills she has so beautifully interspersed with her design sensibilities.

Next up was a showcase of ten kota saris by master weaver Nasruddin Ansari, while Sabir Bhai, another award-winning weaver from Kaithoon in Kota district, displayed his creations of kota saris done in leheriya. From black and nude colors to pink and orange — he brought a riot of colors on the white ramp.

Jason & Anshu of brand ‘smallshop’ created a mix of Menswear and Womenswear in casual yet chic silhouettes, while Kaaryah — a non-casual wear brand for women — brought out a line which saw a melange of the traditional and modern in a subtle yet convincing way.

For Kaaryah’s line, vibrant handmade fabrics like khadi and cotton were incorporated with the use of Rajasthani techniques like ‘abhala’ and ‘bandhani’.

There was also Sri Lanka-based designer Ajai Vir Singh, who brought in an all-men collection in khadi. The beauty in his creations truly lay in their simplicity.

The color and glamour was brought to the show by the day one finale designer Pallavi Murdia, who’s based in the city. The use of embroideries like aari-tari, mirror work, dabka, zardozi, mukaish, resham, gota-patti with sequins, beads and crystals in bright and lovely colors, lent a glamorous look to the outfits.

With interesting drapes, capes and crop tops, apart from suits, saris and more — the finale was enlivened with a live performance of songs like ‘Chhaap tilak’, ‘Piya re’ and ‘Damadam mast’. The show had a celebrity show-stopper in the form of beauty queen Vartika Singh, but it was rightfully the creations that caught the attention.

The Rajasthan Heritage Week, which will conclude here on Saturday, is a step by the Khadi Board and the Rajasthan government, in association with Prasad Bidapa Associates. The idea is to promote the concept of ‘Handmade in Rajasthan’, thereby generating employment and exposure for the state’s weavers.

(Radhika Bhirani, IANS)