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Celebrating a city and its tradition DOWNLOAD PDF


Varanasi, the city and Banarasi, its textile tradition dominated the show and captivated the audience during the Indian Handloom and Textiles Day this time at the Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015, Meher Castelino reports.

It’s not always that an ancient city and its rich textile heritage hold sway over an event that’s said to define fashion for the days to come. But that’s what happened this time at the Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015 where Varanasi, the city and Banarasi, the heritage dominated. The two words, often interchangeably used, overshadowed all else.

The Week itself commenced with the organisers extending support to the ‘Woven Wonders of Varanasi’ exhibition curated by designer-politician Shaina NC. The exhibition, held in association with the Ministry of Textiles at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum on August 21, showcased garments that were fashioned from the handcrafted textiles of Varanasi weavers. The designers were big names: Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Anita Dongre, Ritu Beri, Gaurav Gupta, Varun Bahl, Anju Modi, Narendra Kumar, Rina Dhaka, Sanjay Garg, Krishna Mehta and Shruti Sancheti.

The exhibition was part of the initiative titled ‘Reinvent Banaras’ that was announced earlier in the month, and followed up on the nationwide campaign led by Shaina NC seeking to uplift Banarasi handlooms. The campaign included films, demonstrations, talks and panel discussions.

These initiatives culminated in the Indian Handloom and Textiles Day that was observed on day two of the five-day bi-annual event. “The idea was to extend a platform, and put the spotlight back on the weavers, promote their art, and bring the tradition back into mainstream fashion,” explained Saket Dhankar, vice president and head (Fashion) with IMG Reliance Ltd, which manages the event.


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