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    Rare Ashavali saris, Rajasthani block prints and more take the spotlight at CCI’s newest exhibition

    We can expect plenty of colour this weekend, besides textures, motifs and a whole lot of embroidery. The Crafts Council of India (CCI) is back with its biannual exhibition of handmade saris and jewellery, and, as always, there are long-forgotten weaves to discover and revivalists to encourage. Like Pallav Chandra, a “nomadic Bengali, living in Kotagiri and working with weavers and block-printers from across the country.” The NID graduate, who left his position as the design director of Madura Garments four years ago, is now using his expertise to promote dying traditions. “While there is a lot of interest in supporting artisans, there are so few around. I give them design inputs—looking at national and international trends—so their work is contemporary,” says Chandra, who has a love of geometric prints and is bringing down textured jamdani saris, block-printed stoles from Rajasthan and even some Toda embroidery, under his label Shoi (signature).
    “This exhibition is our ongoing attempt to showcase the best in Indian textiles, with a mix of new and old weavers, printers and designers. This time we have brought down 21 of them,” says Radha Parthathasarathy, the vice president of CCI. “Many of them are new, like Falguni Zaveri from Mumbai who is bringing down formal kurtas and Mohh India who specialises in silver jewellery and silk bags,” she adds. But there are also the crowd favourites, including Mumbai’s Sarfraz Khatri’s Pracheen (ajrak and contemporary abstract motifs) and Bengaluru’s Purvi Patel, whose hand-embroidered blouses are always in great demand. Another highlight is Radhika Lalbhai, who is showcasing the textiles of Gujarat. “I will be bringing down some exclusive Patan patolas (double ikat saris) and exquisite bandinis,” says Lalbhai, who has also revived the lost tradition of the Ashavali saris—a complex weave, almost like rich brocade, with a multi-coloured enamelled look.
    Rs 1,500 onwards. September 11-12, 10 am to 7 pm, at My Fortune hotel. Details: 28110101

    Surya Praphulla Kumar

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