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Patrons of West Now Inclining Towards Indian Weaves, Says Gaurang Shah

In an interaction with News18, designer Gaurang Shah talks at length about the acceptance and the increasing demand of Indian handlooms and weaves.

Kriti Tulsiani | News18.com@sleepingpsyche2

Updated:August 18, 2017, 6:06 PM IST
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Gaurang Shah, a Hyderabad-based textile designer, is often regarded as one of the names right at the forward of leading the Indian handloom revivalist moment. The designer, who is all set to showcase his collection titled Chitravali at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017, believes that handlooms, of late, are being acknowledged widely on the international front.

“With varied designs and innovative techniques used in weaving our Indian handlooms, there is something for everyone to choose from. Patrons of the West are now inclining towards Indian weaves apart from the traditional silks,” he says in an interaction with News18.com.

As a designer, Shah has always tried to weave the most contrasting Indian fabrics in one frame, and invariably spelled out a magic chant in form of his creative nine-yard saris or dupattas. Whether it’s his core use of Jamdani or reinventing traditional cotton, khadi, silks - kanjivaram or kalamkari, Shah remains true to his label and continues to maintain that opting for traditional Indian drapes has been a conscious decision for him.

Credit: @Gaurang Shah

“Sari is like a canvas where I put forth my creativity and create art in the nine yards. And definitely, saris and dupattas hold a special place in my heart as I find women most sensuous in our Indian drapes. For me a woman is sexy in her Indian attire and not by showing skin,” he adds.

He takes a certain pride in accepting that there’s been a “great comeback” of the age-old weaving technique. “With improvised design sensibility and innovation, these weaves are now more sustainable. For example, Khadi being a rigid fabric has been made much more pliable using unique textures and designs when combined with Jamdani weaving technique making it one of a kind and most preferred and desirable,” he cites.

Shah also points out that the demand of Indian weaves and handlooms has vastly increased in the fashion industry because of the increased number of awareness programs initiated by the government. “The movies are seen promoting hand woven textiles and major fashion weeks encourage textile-enthusiast designers. Handlooms are also prioritized over synthetics because of its aesthetics and heritage value,” he adds.

gaurang-1Image: Lakme Fashion Week Team

When asked which Bollywood leading lady he’d like to credit for acing the Indian fashion game, Shah was quick to name Vidya Balan, Kirron Kher, Sridevi and Rekha.

“These are the women who have not just embraced hand-weaves and saris, but also made them a part of their identity. They have indeed inspired many people to follow their footsteps,” he says.
He also acknowledges Sonam Kapoor’s style and lauds her for improvising handlooms in her own quirky way. “Sonam also deserves a mention, though she has an unconventional style, she gracefully manages to indulge in handlooms and bridge the gap to the young generation,” he adds.

His latest collection ‘Chitravali’, literally translating to painted panoramas, blends stories from the caves of Ajanta using naturally-dyed Kanchipuram silk. “The collection brings to life the frescos from the 30 caves of Ajanta alive on textiles using hand-painted kalamkari with a festive twist. Rich kalamkari art is depicted on handlooms fabrics like Kanjeevaram, enhanced with badla and chikankari,” explains Shah.
| Edited by: Kriti Tulsiani
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