Bottle green and virulent peach — now, that’s not a combination you would expect to see on a Kanjivaram sari. But Sunita Yogesh’s début collection Folklore is all about keeping tradition and playing with new trends; fusing conventional colours with new.
“Everything has been done from scratch. When I worked with weavers, I realised how much time the whole process takes. The weaving technique differs based on the design of the sari. It’s a long process working on patterns and colours,” says Yogesh, adding “The weavers are very open to new ideas. They want people to experiment and bring new things to the table.”
A qualified chartered accountant, Yogesh was always drawn to painting and designing. Not a surprise, considering her mother is Jeyasree Ravi (founder of Palam Silks) and grandfather, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetty (of Nalli).
“But I was good with numbers. I used to score 100 in maths. So I studied Chartered Accountancy… it’s actually helping me with my work now,” she says. The 30-year-old then did a textile design course in London and realised the kind of appreciation Indian textiles receive.
She returned to Chennai and started working on this line. It took her eight months to execute it. She’s kept away from the usual reds and pinks and largely used blues, greens and off-whites. The collection comprises geometric patterns inspired by tiles from Indian architecture, birds, old art forms, and florals.
Some of the zari works are given a modern twist. “To see my designs on the computer screen and then to see them in the completed form as a sari is quite different. The first sari that was done is the peach one with mandala motifs. I’ve actually kept one of each,” she laughs.
This collection has six saris and will be launched by Palam Silks at the Vogue Wedding Show in Delhi on August 3.
The designer says she had sleepless nights. “Showing it to my grandpa was like going for an exam,” she says.
“But he liked them,” she adds, sounding relieved. Yogesh has already started planning her next line. Her iPad is full of designs, some new and some from all the doodling over the years.
A large part of her inspiration comes from travelling, and from her grandfather’s well-stocked library. “He has books on weaving, design and art that you won’t find anywhere else. Sometimes I go to his library, pick a book and get ideas,” she adds.
News credit : Indiatoday