That Which Deserves To Be Seen

Iksenya, the latest collection of exquisite sarees by three Bangalore-based designers, just reaffirms the fact that India’s love affair with the six-yard fabric is not over just yet, writes Radha Prathi.
Sari – the traditional wear of Indian women for over two millenniums in various styles and forms is perhaps the oldest piece of clothing that has been inspired from the west.

The Greeks left a stamp of their entry into the Indian soil in a hundred different ways but it is the single piece of long cloth –the sari, which has caught the imagination of the Indian mind that has also stood the test of time as it has been imbibed into the mainstream of Indian culture.

Though India has come a long way since then and has been exposed to cultures and traditions across the globe, its tryst with the sari still remains intact which explains the presence of  infinite varieties of this article of clothing till this day, endearing itself to the feminine.
During the third week of October, Bangalore will be witnessing a special collection of a hundred saris, titled, “Six Yards and Counting” at Ffolio, which have been born of the imagination of Bangalore-based fashion designers  Seema Bagaria and Archana Kanoria of Iksenya who have teamed up with experienced and reputed textile designer Pragatti Toshniwal. 


The trio has explored the exclusivity of designer saris and has tapped talent from far flung places to weave the saris that haunted their dreams. Their saris are a mix and match of fabric which are interwoven such that the resultant sari is lightweight, and yet exudes an old world charm of being heavily decorated.

For instance, some saris are a combination of Gota, zardosi, fabric strips and brocades that have been blended together and then there are others which have silk, organza and angora wool interwoven for warmth.

Similarly the work done on each sari ranges from kantha stitches, to jacquard weaves, to tapestry, to foil painting, to Shibori motifs among other art forms. To put it in the words of Archana Kanoria, each sari is a work of art as it tweaks heritage and convention with contemporary design and styling to suit every occasion.

A perceptive tour through their collection of saris which have been woven and embellished individually showcases the labour of love, commitment and the passion that has gone into each strand of thread besides throwing light on various forms of needlework, dyeing techniques and appliqué work on pre-determined designs. Seema Bagaria, an avid designer, takes pride in the fact that she is playing a role in reviving ancient art forms and introducing them to the young world through her saris.

Pragatti Toshniwal  who carries out her work at her studio and weaving unit comprising eight traditional pit looms, at Kogilu village near Yelahanka, has teamed up with the duo Kanoria and Bagaria in a maiden venture to  extend her expertise on weaving and make the vision of “Six yards and counting come true.”

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