Neesha Amrish’s flagship store, Aeshaane, is your gateway to organic silk, funky jewellery and home décor
IF you show a sari to a youngster, she’ll pick it up for her mother. To make her want to buy a sari for herself, that’s my challenge,” laughs designer Neesha Amrish as she leads me through her freshly-minted organic silk store, which will be officially launched on Sunday.
Looking around I realise it may not be such a tough job after all. Housed in a beautiful white house, punctuated by a stunning turquoise wooden door, the store is all about big, bright and bold. Lusciously-hued silk kurtis and anarkalis hang beside bold block-printed saris. A newly-launched line of home décor—from cushion covers to lamp shades—vie for attention with silk and jute bags.
And every corner packs a surprise: from a wall of boho-chic cloth necklaces to a collection of temple jewellery, a selection of organic bath products to even an offering of colour-popping planters, the very ones she has used in her garden. “I wanted to create a space where my clients can chat with me about designs over a cup of tea, look around at leisure and pick up what they want,” says the designer who named the shop after her four-year-old daughter.
Weaving an identity
An alumnus of National School of Design, Amrish has been in the industry for six years. While design school didn’t teach her much, the 37-year-old says days spent at Srirampuram, a village in Kolkata that specialises in block printing, set her on the right path. “I’ve always worked with silk because it’s so much more challenging than cotton,” she says, adding that she switc-hed to organic silk three years ago because she loved the fabric. Though she doesn’t call herself a revivalist, that’s what she is with her handspun yardage (created by her team of weavers), hand-mixed dyes and hand printed designs. “When you say handwoven, people think it’s dated. It’s a mindset I want to change,” says Amrish who believes that her signature is simple designs that make a statement.
Her colour palette is bright—bold pinks purples, reds, yellows, blues and blacks. But her choice of geometric and nature-inspired prints ensure that nothing is over the top. “I don’t work with georgettes and chiffons, but since there is a demand for them I have created a fusion series,” says the designer who is a favourite with clients like A R Rahman’s wife, Saira, Suhasini Manirathnam, model Feroze Gujral and TV host Mini Mathur.
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— Surya Praphulla Kumar