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ANCIENT AND STYLISH

Alankrita's exhibition displays chic clothes that borrow motifs from temple columns and old furniture



Each choli involves 20-30 hours of work.

GOT A special liking for the old and the traditional? Then head for the one-of-its-kind exhibition by the antiques store, Alankrita, between April 29 and May 1. Inspired by patterns of yore, Shoba Carambiah of Alankrita has designed clothes and home linen bearing motifs from temple columns and antique furniture.

Delicately embroidered birds, flowers, and trees are reminiscent of a beautifully-carved piece of antique furniture, and add to the beauty of the garments embellished by tiny mirrors. They use the skills of craftspersons from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat, who specialise in the traditional styles of embroidery. Shoba says: "We use a combination of gota, kuchchi, zari, and dana work."

The collection showcases a number of cholis and saris that Shoba has designed herself. Using various material suited for summer, most cholis are a combination of at least three fabrics. Their choice of fabrics include kalamkari, Mangalgiri, Maheshwari, ekat, bandhini, silk, and so on. The cholis come in exotic necklines that blend well with the traditional look. From sensual katori cuts with pot-shaped or diamond-shaped necklines to the unusual cholis with boat necks or collars, each is complete with embroidery and piping. Says Shoba: "The workmen put in 20 to 30 hours of embroidery work on each choli." Stitched to a general size and comfortably fitted to the body after selection, most of the cholis can be matched with more than one sari, as the colour scheme is rather diverse and vibrant.


Also on display are temple saris that have been refurbished. Originally saris of deities in Chettinad temples, the saris have been purchased at auctions. Shoba has then added additional lengths of fabric, since saris draped over deities are of a smaller size.

Each sari is adorned with beautiful embroidery and patchwork. Priced at Rs. 3,200 onwards, the saris are sold with a matching choli. But sold separately, cholis themselves would cost you Rs. 1,250 upwards. Shoba has made salvar kameez tops, tablecloths, and runners of saris too, along similar lines.

Delicately-embroidered tablecloths in silk or cotton are accompanied by a matching set of napkins.

The exhibition also showcases work by students and staff of The Design School. So, one can hope to pick up Indo-western kurtis, kurtas, and designer saris.The clothes will be exhibited at Alankrita, 5, Jeweller's Street, between April 29 and May 1. For details, call 25589635/ 22866686.

TINA GARG

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