Chic yet ethnic


A wh An array of clothes at the exhibition. ole range of lifestyle and fashion products and accessories are on display at Kahawa, the Gallery for Design for the discerning shopper under the aegis of The Designer Fiesta which is on till July 18.

On display are works from Azu, the well-known African footwear designer, who makes her trademark comfortable slippers in leather embellished with beads, stones and embroidery. Another highlight of the exhibition is Wellpaper, a range of interesting products home made by rural women.

Wellpaper is a project that employs rural women and trains them in the art of transforming recycled materials primarily newspaper into specialised items for the home and wardrobe. Produced at The WELL Centre in Auroville, the Israeli duo of Danny and Orly are the guiding force behind this project. Orly had her own studio in Israel, where she worked with papier mache and used other recycling techniques as well as taught mentally challenged people and disturbed teenagers.  The WELL Project now in India trains women to roll newspaper into reeds and then weave them into baskets, turn them into  coasters, jewellery and fashion accessories like earrings and hair clips. The products are interesting, well designed and neatly finished making them ideal for personal use or gifting. Nishi Rehman from Kahawa says, “We have made an effort to bring together established and new designers who make things that are different, well designed and unusual that are not available in regular stores.”

So, what else is on offer ? A whole range of  bags, jewellery, decorative gift boxes, pouches, bags, ceramics, home accessories, metal ware, pottery and African handicrafts. Clothes — dressy party wear from short kurtis and tops to sarees and men and women's clothing, dressy footwear and bags from Fidaa, blown glass products, paper products and table ware from Shradanjali, and lots of little knick-knacks that can be used in and around the home.

The whole exhibition is a mix of ethnic, chic and urban contemporary style which is both unusual and interesting.

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