Contemporary and comfortable

Amrita Prasad
Monday, 19 March 2018

Radhika Chhabra, head of clothing and accessories at Jaypore, a handicraft e-store, talks about the brand philosophy and also shares tips on how traditional outfits and jewellery can be worn in a contemporary way

Who says comfort has to come with a certain compromise on style? In a tropical country like India, where cotton and khadi are preferred choices for clothing during the hot summer, you no longer have to choose between wearing something that is comfortable and something that is chic, and in-vogue. Jaypore, a handicraft e-store, has been giving traditional Indian clothes, jewellery, footwear, bags and home decor items a ‘cool’ twist. 

The website sources and curates everything from home linen to jewellery from over 500 craft communities around the country and makes it presence felt in the fashion world through its designs which is a perfect marriage of Indian aesthetics and Western cuts. At a recently held exhibition-cum-sale Jaypore Open House Pune Edition, the brand showcased trendy jewellery, chic apparel and accessories and took us by surprise with the way they fused handloom with latest trends.

From cutwork, to brocade, ikkat, Banarasi, indigo, silk, silk cotton, chanderi, cotton, gotta, chikankari, and so on-- the variety of sarees, jackets, dupattas, dresses, kurtas and anarkalis made us fall in love with our weaves all over again.  Along with jewellery in silver, the exhibition showcased more collections in brass with enamel paint, and Afghani jewels made of coloured glass. 

Speaking about how handwoven outfits are becoming a part of mainstream fashion, Radhika Chhabra, head of clothing and accessories at Jaypore, says, “Mix-and-match Indian weaves with modern outfits. We have these brocade lehengas, anarkalis, duppatas etc that are chic but are also trendy. It is totally up to the wearer how she wants to play it up to create a contemporary look. These are breathable and light fabrics that are totally comfortable during the Indian summers.”

Speaking of Afghani jewellery, Chhabra says that they add spunk and colour to one’s look. The exhibition had an array of designs in jewellery and each one had a unique enameled design. Guiding us on how to sport heavy Indian jewellery, Chhabra suggests, “Heavy statement pieces add a touch of ethnicity to your look. Simply wear them with a kurta and get the bling. Enamelled jewellery is a huge trend as the bright colours light up your simple attire. Fashion earrings in brass are good too.”

When talking about fashion, footwear cannot be ignored. If you thought juttis and embroidered footwear can’t be cool, think again. Chhabra says that not all women are comfortable in wearing stilettos with Indian outfits, hence juttis and sandals made of Indian fabrics with traditional embroidery is the answer for them.”

Coming back to clothes, the blouse has been one of the most underrated pieces of garments, with the entire focus being on the sarees. But not any more. Statement sleeves, innovative necklines and prints are making blouses an attractive part of your ensemble. “Ikkat blouses when teamed with a simple cotton or silk saree look extremely beautiful. So it is not just about the six yards, but the design and print of your blouse also plays a big part in creating a complete look,” she says. 

Lehengas are also quite in demand now. At Jaypore, instead of making heavy lehengas that tend to tire you out, the focus is given on creating light and flowy lehengas in floral prints that can be teamed with a blouse or crop top. “So we have sets of lehenga and dupatta in pastel shades which you can pair with any colour present in the prints (flowers),” she suggests.

Ask her which Indian fabric is timeless and she answers, “Indigo. It is always going to be there!”

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