Meet Sangeetha Raman and her brand, Vitanka, the newest member on the city’s sartorial block
Age isn’t anything but a number according to Chennai’s newest sari designer,Sangeetha Raman, who turned 50 on June 7. The textile curator celebrated her half-century with the official launch of her boutique brand of saris on Facebook, which has already overshot 2,000 likes in less than a fortnight. “I launched ‘Vitanka’ a day before I turned a half-century. I have no qualms telling you my age because I believe one is as young as one feels,” shares the vivacious entrepreneur. Having been dabbling in this line for over five years, Raman shares that, “I have been designing bespoke saris for friends for special occasions over the last few years; Vitanka is the culmination of many months of hard work and encouragement from my family.”
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The better half of former Indian cricketer WV Raman, the designer has an impressive line-up of clientele like celebrity wife Suma Jayaraj, Eashwari Shankar (director Shankar’s wife) and Bharatnatayam exponent Priya Muralee, among others. All set to woo the sari connoisseurs of the city, Raman explains that Vitanka means ‘beautiful’ in Sanskrit. “It is for people who appreciate creativity and refinement. Each sari goes through a meticulous process of dyeing, printing and embroidery and comes with bespoke blouses. I am very particular that every sari is completely unique. My motto is one design in one colour and no repeats. It’s no fun when
you end up seeing someone else wearing the same thing,” says Raman, who works with artisans and ateliers in Kolkata, Jaipur and New Delhi for her sari dyeing, printing and embroidery.
Working with only natural fabrics; her favourites include raw silk, jute silk, Kanjeevaram silk, crepes, chiffons and pure cotton. The history graduate has no formal training in fashion but says that this is not a prerequisite for designing. “I am of the opinion that you just need a good eye and a great sense for aesthetics.” says Raman who uses various forms of embellishment ranging from kalamkari and brocade borders to hand-embroidery and striking sari blouse designs. “My designs vary from the traditional to the trendy, with an occasional twist,” she concludes.
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