Whimsical folklore

Fusion fashion

Play Clan is best known for reinterpreting Asian folklores and translating them into edgy and quirky designs. This time too they have followed the same path, and explored Indian classical dance forms on exquisite, hand-woven Banarasi saris in collaboration with Ekaya, a brand that is rooted in Banaras’ rich textile heritage.

The coming together of two aesthetically different brands has resulted in a series of bright and boisterous colours that matches the subtle nuances of the dancers and illustrates the iconography of various rasas on the fabric.

For Bharat Shah, founder, Ekaya the collaboration is an extension of their philosophy and is an attempt to take forward their legacy. “My motto is to ensure that our weavers get work and that can be done when we understand the market well. There will always be a market for traditional Banarasi saris, but how do we reach out to younger generation. This collaboration is all about marrying past with present.” This fusion doesn’t come as a surprise as in the past Ekaya has joined hands with designers like Anupama Dayal, Abraham & Thakore and Archana Rao to explore different techniques and sensibilities that can lend fluidity to the brand.“Such collaborations immediately connect consumers with pride,” he adds.

According to Himanshu Dogra of Play Clan the collaboration helped them to develop a new viewpoint to look at the traditional textile and also added a new dimension of understanding about the weaving process.

“The process of weaving is so old and it was fascinating to see how weaves come together on a pitloom. It was a challenge to see how the design, that is drawn on paper, takes shape while weaving and that too with certain limitations,” he tells Metrolife.

“It was a time consuming process and weavers would take 45 days to make one piece. Even though it is a long process, the outcome is beautiful,” he adds.For this collection, Dogra has taken inspiration from five dance forms: Bharatnatyam, Maohiniyattam, Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi.

“Play Clan has been retelling tales of our culture and since Banaras is the seat of textiles, there is a synergy between us. This line is all about longevity,” says Dogra, adding the collection has saris and lehengas.

This collection in rich hues of cobalt blue, emerald green, bright purples is an ode to a glorious legacy, where the symbolism of dance plays with graphic form.

“Our brand philosophy is to illustrate a story in a whimsical and playful way. It is all about connecting with memory and drawing from experiences. So, the biggest challenge for us is to think of ways in which we can tell a story differently,” says Dogra.

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