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Wearing the mundane as quirky miniatures

The mountains are calling and I must go… for their flora and fauna, clear skies and the relaxed light air sans any pollution – my sanity depends on it! It struck me when I came across LAÏTEworks (spelt as light-works) by Saurabh Banka. Couldn’t stop admiring his quirky embroidered miniatures of the mundane strewn on stoles, shirts and pouches projecting a nonchalant playful attitude. 

His

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Bankas’s design background: I graduated from NIFT, New Delhi in 2007. And started working with Rajesh Pratap Singh. In 2008, I moved to Paris and studied Masters in Fashion Design from IFM (Institut Français de la Mode). Following that, I took up a job as an Embroidery Designer for a French label Rue du Mail by Martine Sitbon. And in 2016, I moved to India to start my own brand LAÏTEworks.

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Not just for women

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Tempering is a uniquely Indian cooking technique. I wanted to create jewellery based on the magical act of pouring hot spiced oil into cooked food.-Baanley collection

Had stumbled upon Dvibhumi‘s instagram account a while ago, but one fine day I read on it a cryptic message ‘Utensils of early Indian settlers in Singapore-Ruchi launches this month’ which piqued my interest. To quench my curiosity I wrote and requested Vyshnavi N Doss, its founder and designer, for an e-catalog of her latest creations. The revert read “I design in Singapore and work with craftsmen in India and Indonesia to create modern jewellery with a strong Asian narrative. My signature aesthetic is clean lines and surfaces in combination with textures and motifs. You will notice how the designs go beyond statements and can easily spark a conversation. One should expect more matte finishes and monochrome than bling on geometrical forms with the spotlight on detail.”

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Warangal began with prayer rugs

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Getting festive ready I chanced upon Poludas Nagendra Satish’s Sutra Durrie. This led me to understand how earlier one could differentiate through designs of one village or weaver from the other. The cottage industry of durrie weaving in Warangal, Telengana can be recognized with its geometrical and angular designs in weft interlocking technique (both sides look the same). Here a large population consisted of skilled weavers and dyers. But the unofficial figures stated otherwise, that almost 50% of Padmasali community have left their ancestral vocation as the craft is too laborious, and provides little sustenance or dignity.

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The radical experimenter

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I had the opportunity to view Rooshad Shroff’s solo debut show – 15,556 Man Hours represented by Pundole Gallery earlier this year during the India Design Fair 2017 at Bikaner House, New Delhi. These were 26 pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, benches, screens, daybed, and lighting in three distinct techniques – colour sanding, zardozi embroidery using french knots and monolithic marble hollowed and carved out. Being a big fan of handmade and crafts of India it was a sea change from other designed products, driving home his point of ‘authorship’.

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Its bold colours and graphic all the way

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Recently at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Textile India 2017 shed light on ‘Make in India’ initiative. So, without digressing much, I’d like to highlight ‘Made by an Indian’ who chooses to use these very same rich woven fabrics on foreign soil.

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Edgy coquettish designs

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At a party someone very rightly said to me that one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art. Admiring Bhavin and Twinkle Gada’s fashion jewelry label BEGADA I couldn’t agree more. Sold on Cult Curators, these edgy coquettish designs caught my eye, as they spell drama successfully in bold and red letters.

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You can’t buy love but can buy handmade

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A nomadic lifestyle and simple living is aspirational for many, especially if it includes attributes such as openness, curiosity and meaningfulness…and the ‘Luxe’ quotient in it is the time well spent in discovering and exploring ideas.

Aditi Dhar, a Kashmiri, the designer of Vitasta (her middle name is also the Sanskrit word for river Jhelum, in Kashmir) is inspired by women who are freethinkers… with a strong sense of self, holding cosmopolitan views.

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Bohemian Christmas

Tucked away in the bylane of Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, is a quaint store on the first floor, Olivia Dar. An eponymous contemporary bohemian luxury label was born in 2011. This labour of love originated from the lady’s travels and her desire to share the traditional artisanal crafts of India and Central Asia. Earlier one knew of her women’s accessories but today its her chic bomber jackets and upcycled gypsy vintage dresses which are creating ripples in the West.

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Out of the Shed

Painting London red was India in September with its pavilion at the 10th edition of The London Design Fair, this year. We were privileged to become the first guest country, invited. Equipped with the best of both worlds, the brewing interest in our new independent designers and studios, was sure to develop!

Through This is India, Shed also debuted for the first time on the global design scene. And so, I connected with Priyanka Shah – the young entrepreneur behind this research and design studio. Based out of Surat, Gujarat, it specializes in making custom furniture, home accessories, kitchenware and cultural objects.

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