Weaves such as bandha, ikat, and fabrics such as tussar silk have been representing the region of Orissa in the fashion industry (both international and Indian) for a while now but only through the work of some designers. But for the first time, the Government of Orissa (GOO), along with five acclaimed designers Rakesh Thakore, Anjali Kalia, Bibhu Mohapatra, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Sabyasachi Mukherjee in a project coordinated by textile expert Rta Kapur Chishti, has developed a collection of saris, scarves and fabrics. Not only that, it has put them all up at a stall at WIFW’s Spring-Summer 2013 edition for the “Design Reference Collection of Orissa Handloom” project.
“I have been working with the weavers in Orissa since almost a decade. There is still so much more to do,” says Chishti, who was spotted dressed in a red, white and black cotton ikat handwoven sari with her hair tied up as usual in an interesting knot. She adds that along with the designers, she is looking at addressing the problems faced by the handloom industry in Orissa. She also feels that due to the growing usage of imported and factory-made fabrics, along with changing Indian taste in fashion, the handloom weavers in India are facing an uncertain future.
Usha Padhee, commissioner with the handlooms, textiles and handicrafts department, GOO, says, “It was time to revamp the age-old traditions. So we invited some of the nationally and internationally acclaimed designers to come on board.
The Orissa stall showcases the collections of the five designers at WIFW till October 10. A stunning selection of woven drapes — some being interpretations of saris that are no longer made or sold — are on simultaneous display at the Crafts Museum, Pragati Maidan till October 30.