Anavila Misra returns with another line, proving that the linen sari belongs on the red carpet and in the boardroom
It’s HARD to pinpoint when it happened, but Anavila Misra has suddenly become the most wanted sari brand among the country’s power women. It helps that movements such as the 100 Sari Pact, India Sari Challenge or Choliholick are making the seductive drape welcome just about anywhere. “Whatever the reason may be, it’s a positive trend. Every country has a garment, which has evolved through the years. The sari is the best garment on an Indian body, and we are now acknowledging this,” says Misra, whose organic linen saris, in muted colours, are easy to wear.
The designer who turned 40 a few days ago, has many achievements to her credit — bagging the sari design award at the Vogue India Fashion Fund 2015, and making it to the top five at the Elle Graduates 2015 are but two of them. Her drapes are a hit in Bollywood too. Following in Konkona Sen Sharma’s footsteps as muse and showstopper are Vidya Balan, Sonali Bendre, Sonam Kapoor, Kiran Rao, and Kalki Koechlin.
Art of balance
Misra’s newest collection, Balance, which is currently being showcased in Chennai, sees 80-100 pieces, all from her Amazon India Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 line. “It comprises linen saris, blouses, ready made kurtas and stoles. We have also experimented with zaris, so you will see flashes of gold, silver and metallic accents. The entire collection is inspired by nature, and includes geometric patterns and monochrome colours,” she says. Misra admits that her drapes require appropriate accessories. “I would recommend simple jewellery, with clean lines.” According to the designer, and quite rightly so, the blouse is the defining piece of any sari. “The sari blouse sets the mood of the whole presentation. For instance, in Balance, we have used box-pleated blouses. For an earlier collection called Mohenjo Daro, we used loose, unstructured and unfinished pieces,” she adds.
Map to the village
Misra has been working with craftsmen across the country to revive the drape and finds inspiration everywhere. “Honestly, as a brand, we haven’t innovated anything. We have just gone around villages, worked with our artisans, and looked at how they put saris together. And that is what inspired us to present our saris in a certain way,” she says, modestly. Any woman who loves to wear the sari is the Anavila woman, she continues. “She puts comfort and ease over everything else, and makes that her style statement,” says the designer, adding that she is trying to work with blends at present. Experiments involve silk and wool with linen. “We are also working on our own interpretations of woody, brown, and earthy colours,” she concludes.