In touch with the rich heritage

Rooted to earth

In touch with the rich heritage

Preetam Jukalker started his career by designing sought-after bridal and red carpet outfits with glamorous embellishments. But a documentary film he watched — ‘The True Cost’ — altered his design philosophy. He wanted to shift from the glamorous world of fashion to a sustainable one.

The movie which revolves around the bad impact of fast fashion enlightened him about the sufferings of traditional artisans. Thus began his tryst with Indian textiles.

“This is my small initiative to revive the dying textile industry in India,” he says.

With the philosophy of slow and sustainable fashion, Preetam works closely with the weavers of Andhra Pradesh and crafts earthy clothes, which he terms to be eternal.

“Currently I am working with ‘pochampalli’ weaves and ‘ikat’ yarns. From the fabrics to the buttons I use, everything is 100 percent organic and sustainable,” he explains.

An admirer of Indo-Western creations, he crafts contemporary designs. Crop tops, palazzos, skirts, tunic tops... he gives a quirky touch to each of them while crafting.

“Indian textiles is not boring. One can work around rich colours and they can be worn by anyone at anytime. I modernise the traditional textiles with my contemporary style. Hence you can see that the saris I design have unconventional pockets that make the simple wear elegant and quirky,” he explains.

His Spring-Summer collection has long dresses, shirts, gowns, which inculcate a layered styling — all designed with handcrafted and hand dyed fabrics. He says he is doing his bit to revive the dying art and the artisans, and explains, “While selling my designs, I make sure to let my customer know the effort that has gone behind these fabrics. My designs cater to all sections of the society as they are affordable clothes with a touch of luxury. They combine detailed colours.”

 While it is the Indian textiles that inspire him to create innovative designs, his mother too played a role in grooving his designing career.

“As a kid I always read the fashion magazines and watched the celebrities talk about fashion all the time. I used to have a collage made of all the fashionable stuff I saw. My mother stitched clothes and I saw her sit on the sewing machine, making shirts for me. While she was away, I took over the machine stitching some baby clothes,” he recalls.
After his Pre-University, he joined the fashion and textile  course for degree. He has not looked back since.

While his personal style is organic —  white shirt, trousers and jacket — he says, “I yearn to take Indian textiles into mainstream fashion and help it get the limelight it deserves.”

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