Have a look at Ritu Kumar's pręt line of garments and leather bags on display at Contemporary Arts and Crafts till October 9.
INTRICATE EMBROIDERY: The gorgeous sari and blouse. Photos: Mohd. Yousuf
HER CLOTHES spell class. They are rooted in the Indianness with exquisite embellishments. She has clothed many beauty queens and walked away with accolades. She is Ritu Kumar and her couture is one of the premier signature labels of the country. With extensive research on Indian textiles, Ritu has brought out the best of Indian tradition combining the arts and crafts evident in her garments. Her pręt line is now on the racks at Contemporary Arts and Crafts, Somajiguda.
Normally one associates designer wear with exorbitant prices. But a look at the collection of cotton-voiles, crepes and georgettes makes you think otherwise. For these are not out of reach designer wear. Modest pricing and wearable ensembles mark this line.
The cotton suits in pastel and dark shades are embellished with embroidery - machine and handmade. The embroidery, mostly floral, is neat, smart and intricate. It is subtle and understated with a touch of mokaish and mirrors in some outfits, while some outfits are embroidered all over but not with a garish look. This collection starts at Rs. 2000 plus. There are practical, every day kind of clothes with no fuss on maintenance. And they are mostly long kurtas teamed with salwars or churidars.
The crepes have attractive Indian motifs - reminiscent of `Mughal' times. Floral and geometric `medieval' motifs printed on the crepes have a contemporary look about them. Mostly in dark hues like maroons, blues, browns and blacks, these include the Indo-Western range. Short kurtas with trousers (elastic with drawstrings) and a dupatta complete the set. These are priced around Rs. 4,000-Rs. 5,000.
There are a few georgette suits (for special occasions) in maroons and snuff shades with short kurtas embellished with intricate embroidery - sequins and a touch of gold. These are slightly higher priced.
FINE EMBELLISHMENTS: Ritu's forte.
Those who want to have a taste of Ritu Kumar's fine embroidery should have a look at the designer saris with stitched cholis (with extremely short sleeves). The georgette ones are priced at Rs. 6,000, while the ornately-adorned crepe ones cost between Rs. 8,000 and Rs.10,000. There are a few printed crepe saris with attached blouse pieces in maroons and greens with a price tag of Rs. 4,000.
Long and short shirts and tops in printed crepes complete the collection. In bright colours, these are perfect for trousers and they can co-ordinate with some beautifully printed scarves available for Rs. 640. These scarves can make excellent gifts for those living abroad.
In the pręt line there is not much play of fabric - barring one or two, which are blends, the ones used are voiles, crepes and georgettes.
MODEST PRICING: The pret line.
Ritu Kumar has also diversified into leather and has brought out a line of leather bags - travel and handbags besides ladies wallets. These bags (mostly in maroon and black) too have some Indian motifs embossed on them - imparting the ethnic look. While the wallets cost Rs. 700, the bags are in the range of Rs. 1000 and above.
The Ritu Kumar pręt line has been displayed at Contemporary Arts and Crafts (CAC) more than half a dozen times. "The response has been building up over the years. Importantly it is affordable and wearable," says Shubha of CAC.
If you harboured thoughts of possessing a big designer label one can perhaps check out this exhibition on till October 9.
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