New Delhi: At a time
when many are mourning the demise of Indian craftsmanship,
well-known designer Anupama Dayal is focussing on employment for
master weavers and promoting intensely handcrafted garments that
have international appeal.
"Our motto is to honour master skills, thereby producing a product
that is unique and intensely handcrafted but in keeping with
international quality standards," Dayal, who launched her brand
Anupamaa in 2004, told IANS.
"Another important goal of our brand is 'employment generation'
and our work is based on sustainable growth. We also work directly
with craftspeople and several NGOs to meet these goals," she
Known for working closely with craftspeople from different areas
of India, the 30 something designer feels with such a vast
heritage, sometimes it becomes difficult to explore every single
"It will be wrong to say that designers today are not giving due
recognition to handmade textiles and fabrics. There are many
designers who work with Indian textiles. There is such a vast
textile heritage, there is always a scope for upcoming designers
to work on more," she said.
In fact, her recent collection titled Surat and Spice, which she
showcased at the ongoing Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW),
has been inspired by chintz textiles.
Her forte is handprinted textiles. She said: "Handprinted textiles
have always been a wondrous source of inspiration to me like an
obsessive collector. I have squirreled away in my mind bits and
pieces of palampores, coromandels and machilapatnams, snapshots
from museums, pictures from books, and work created in my own
workshops by master craftsmen," she said.
"From the 16th to the 18th century, India was the biggest exporter
of textiles the world has ever known. The magnetic appeal of
Indian fabrics caused empires, colonies and wars. My new
collection is built around this powerfully transformative moment
in textile history. Surat, the legendary port town in western
India, was the hub of textile action during this period," she
An interesting range, Surat and Spice boasted of tunics, long
dresses and a lot of fluid draping in hues of red, cinnamon,
indigo, mehndi, haldi, baingani and paprika.
"Fluid draping has been key this season. A key skill, this can be
used to instantly transform a garment and reinvent a look. Also
the trims, prints and decorative elements have been strategically
"The drapes can be worked with to achieve required levels of
chicness, functionality, modesty and temperature control," said
Dayal said every woman is a celebrity in her own right.
"All the models who grace my show and all the women who attend my
show are celebrities in my eyes. Every girl is blessed with unique
beauty and clothes are creative tools to reinvent their
personality. For me, every single woman present in the MSA (Main
Show Area) is a showstopper," Dayal told IANS.