HANDLOOM IS AN ART

Alisha Shinde
Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Parvathi Dasari, who is making her debut at Lakm Fashion Week Summer/ Resort 2019 and will be presenting her collection titled The Tropical Paradise, talks about how she takes inspiration from nature and how she’s helping towards handloom revival

Parvathi Dasari is all set to make her debut at Lakmé Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 19, which is being held in Mumbai from January 30 to February 3, with her collection titled The Tropical Paradise on February 1. Dasari, who is also a textile connoisseur and handloom revivalist, has designed her new collection to create environmental awareness. Ahead of her show, we catch up with the Chennai-based designer to know more about her collection and how she’s also helping towards handloom revival. 

BREAKING THE MOULD
Dasari says that she has extensively worked with sarees. “I have always customised sarees for clients based on their choices, so fashion for me is something that is created uniquely for every individual, which is the reason I have never liked shelf fashion,” she says adding that her passion for heirloom textiles is reflected through her brand which stands for a new beginning of pure and unique weaves. 

When it comes to her couture collection, Dasari says she is inspired by the tropical jungles with serene and striking representation of animals including the elephant, duck, parrots and the lush greenery — all in pure zari. 

“It is often believed that lehengas can be stitched out of a Banarasi but not a Kanjivaram saree or for that matter any other Southern silk fabric. In my collection, I wanted to break free from this mould. I have incorporated the Kanjivaram saree in a fashion forward way,” she says adding that her collection is a perfect blend of the traditional, contemporary and quirky displayed not only through the motifs but also in the techniques used.

SAVING NATURE
Dasari says that nature has been the best inspiration for designers across industries. “Nature has a lot of refreshing elements that can be incorporated into fashion, but in recent times the fashion industry has become one of the largest polluting industries, so, in a way, we are destroying our inspiration,” she points out. By taking inspiration from the jungle and depicting animals in her collection, she’s taking a small initiative to encourage people to save nature and conserve the environment. 

KEEPING TRADITION ALIVE
Even though India has always had a beautiful legacy of handlooms, the art is dying because of powerlooms. “Handloom is an art and I have always believed that it is never too late to revive it,” says Dasari who uses fabrics which are organic and manufactured by her personal unit; she works very closely with the weavers who are over 60 years of age. 

Handlooms are India’s heritage and a legacy to restore. Dasari believes that weavers add a personal touch to the fabric which no machine can. “Each saree made on the handloom is different because each motif takes time and the effort cannot be repeated on another saree or fabric. So each piece has an individuality which is just not possible when it comes to powerlooms,” she explains.  

CREATING A MASTERPIECE
“My new collection will be showcasing vintage yet contemporary designs in the six yard, lehengas and anarkalis bearing the hallmark of exquisite craftsmanship, heritage and intricacy,” says Dasari, who believes that the hard work and challenges that go into making a single piece of clothing is equivalent to creating a masterpiece. 

There is a purported play of opposites in the collection that Dasari has designed. It combines bright jewel hues, including reds, pinks, blues and greens, with softer shades. Through the fresh rendition of the glorious handloom, her collection showcases soft and sophisticated looks that do empower the wearer. 

SUPPORTIVE PLATFORM
Dasari says that LFW is a great platform not only for designers but also initiatives. “In my observation, LFW has been upholding initiatives like sustainability and green fashion and reviving traditional weaves and handlooms,” says she adding that LFW has always pushed for innovation and newcomers, and encouraged them to bring out their best. 

Such platforms allow one to grow. “Be it challenges like keeping to a tight deadline or the sheer pressure of showcasing your collection, the platform polishes you and makes you ready to face challenges head on.”

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