Jamdani, Paithani, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Kand, Ikat are traditional weaves of Indian textiles, which Mumbai-based fashion designer Vaishali Shandangule has taken up special mission to work with traditional weaves and textiles to give a new existence as western and contemporary dresses.
Shadangule is still in the process of discovering new and unfamiliar weaves to incorporate in her designs. In 2011, she showed well-crafted Indian dresses in Chanderi and Paithani prints. It was perhaps the first time that these fabrics had been cut into dresses, for till then they were only woven into 5.5-metre saris. The designer had reached out to the weavers of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh and Paithani in Maharashtra to incorporate their designs into fabrics suitable for cutting into dresses.
She made use of similarly traditional cloth in this yearâ€™s show too. Jaya Shree Textiles of the Aditya Birla Group helped her to experiment with a new yarn made by combining linen and silk. A group of Jamdani weavers from West Bengal with whom she worked did the rest. As the show was for a winter/festive season, she needed to add a festive touch â€” and got this by adding shiny silk to linen,â€™ explains Shadangule.
Her dresses employ such innovations, whether it is with the popular Jamdani and the Rabari or the Jacquard. The customary motifs are redesigned without losing their essence in order to gain a contemporary touch.
The Mumbai designerâ€™s love for Indian textiles doesnâ€™t mean she designs only Indian wear. In her collection you will find Western silhouettes, layerings, pants, tunics, skirts, gowns, dresses and, of course, the readily consumed salwar-kameez, ghaghras and saris. For her, fusing Indian with Western and contemporary is not an artificial art.
Take her summer wear created for Lakme Fashion Week 2012 that used Khand. Khand is a fabric worn by the farmer community of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Her search for the original weavers of this fabric took her on a 565-km journey because no one seemed to know where the artisans lived. Her persistence ultimately led her to Guledgudda near Bagalkot in Karnataka, where three families who still followed the traditional handloom method of weaving the Khand. She stayed with the weavers, urged them to experiment with newer designs and got the cloth she required to fit her collection.
Shadangule has more than 60 people working for her brand, Vaishali S. Her designs have been worn by celebrities like Vidya Balan, Sonam Kapoor, Amrita Rao, Shweta Salve, Tanishaa Mukherjee and many others. Her products are retailed from Fuel, Ogaan (Delhi), Rudhraksh (Pune), Aza & Atosa (Mumbai) and her own outlets in Mumbai.
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