The new Ahavaa boutique brings brands like Cuckoo featuring Kerala weaves, Maisara’s linens and Adwitha with Begumpur cottons
We are back at the Ahavaa café that opened in Kilpauk last week, this time for the launch of their boutique. The four rooms on the first floor of the bungalow now house exclusive labels curated by its owner, Kavya Abraham. “I choose brands based on quality and exclusivity. These are labels that also share my idea of design and style,” says the young entrepreneur who will also be showcasing some handpicked Kolhapuri chappals (Rs 550 onwards) from Delhi.
For Cuckoo Parmeswar, designing apparel was always about her love for her native place, Kerala. Launching her eponymous brand in the city, the 46-year-old says, “Everything is handwoven and handmade. The materials, the weave, is designed by us and then transformed into products.” Featuring simple and elegant silhouettes, her collection at Ahavaa comprises tunics, dresses, stoles and saris for women, while the men’s line is more basic with a focus on shirts. Parmeswar adds that they make a maximum of only 10 to 15 shirts at a time and change their collection every 20 days. Talking about Kerala’s myriad weaves, she adds, “I am trying to experiment with fabrics here. Using weaves that were traditionally used for furnishing, I work with the weavers to improve the yarn count and make the textile softer and easier to drape,” says the theatre artiste-turned-designer, who did a fashion course at NIFT when she realised designing was her true calling. Expect Kerala tissues, cotton crepes, silks, linens and viscose in soft greens, blues and of course whites (fromRs 1000 onwards).
Ideal for the scorching climate, city-based Maisara offers a fresh and elegant collection of linen apparel for both men and women (fromRs 2000), besides home linens. A shelf of chunky jewellery catches our eye that Abraham explains is, “the Muthaaram brand, hand-made by home maker Nandita Sukumar (using silver, German silver, precious and semi precious stones). She will also be taking orders for customised sets.” Meanwhile Vishnu Vandana, another home maker, has a room full of saris (from Rs 2000 onwards) that feature ikat silks procured directly from weavers in Pochampally, Begumpur cottons, besides tussars and organzas.
— Sabrina Rajan