Mumbai: Padma Shri Ritu Kumar, India’s most prolific and internationally well-known textile revivalist, dazzled the audience with her sensational ‘Varanasi Weaves’ collection at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015.
Ritu’s initiative to honour Banarsi Weavers is supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India to revive the handloom weaving in Varanasi. Using old nakshas, Ritu recreated superb collections of vintage designs at the show.
Bringing back the beauty of motifs like Badami, Kyari, Shikargah and floral butis, Ritu showcased glittering gold and silver royal textiles to an applauding audience.
The gorgeous luxurious lehengas, layered garments and the exquisite saris, displayed the magnificence of Banaras weaves in peacock hues, red, pink, saffron as well as pretty pastels. The ethereal white-on-white hand cut work Jamdani of Banaras, left the women in the audience spell bound with wonder.
With 50 master craftsmen, Ritu presented a mind boggling collection of timeless designs that ranged from yarns in silk and metallic to reviving the traditional design motifs.
The show divided into four parts revealed Ritu’s versatility in creating weaves of a superlative form.
Opening with the white-on-white line with gold highlights in transparent or opaque weaves; the gossamer fabrics were a dream to behold. Layered asymmetric tunics, loose pants, corsets and tiered gowns were in a wide assortment of fabrics. The belted quilted kurta- jacket and gold white checked saris teamed with corsets and leggings revealed the beauty of the traditional textiles.
The sari section was rich and lush in colour and form. The gorgeous silks from Banaras were in gold and moga thread, which will make the saris great options for the younger buyer. Worn with avant garde halters, leggings, corset blouses, long sleeve velvet cholis; the saris bore the definite stamp of a genius at work.
The third part was the grand Varanasi weaves that were a favourite of the monasteries of the Himalayas. The gorgeous fabrics were transformed into elegant loose kurtas with wide palazzos; red/black/ gold tunics paired with crinkled skirts, multi-weave “A” line kurtas, a mix of lean shapes over layered brocade skirts and the ruby red kurta with crushed silk skirt and churidars.
Ritu closed the show with the final line of weaves, which were a part of the CSR program of the Ritu Kumar team where the grand bridal collection of the most ornate lehengas, blouses, corset kurtas, Raja coats and panelled skirts dazzled the ladies in the audience.
Making a show stopping entry was Bollywood beauty, Aditi Rao Hyadri who looked stunning in a gulabi pink, brocade sari, choli and gold churidars.
But the best was kept for the last when politician/designer, Shaina NC brought the master weavers of Banaras to take a bow on the ramp along with Ritu Kumar. The thunderous applause was proof of the impact the fabulous show had on the audience.
There is nothing more precious and valuable in Indian textiles like the “Varanasi Weaves”, Ritu Kumar’s collection confirmed this beyond doubt.