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    Rare Ashavali saris, Rajasthani block prints and more take the spotlight at CCIa��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 a�?nomadic Bengali, living in Kotagiri and working with weavers and block-printers from across the country.a�? 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. a�?While there is a lot of interest in supporting artisans, there are so few around. I give them design inputsa��looking at national and international trendsa��so their work is contemporary,a�? 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).
    a�?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,a�? says Radha Parthathasarathy, the vice president of CCI. a�?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,a�? she adds. But there are also the crowd favourites, including Mumbaia��s Sarfraz Khatria��s Pracheen (ajrak and contemporary abstract motifs) and Bengalurua��s Purvi Patel, whose hand-embroidered blouses are always in great demand. Another highlight is Radhika Lalbhai, who is showcasing the textiles of Gujarat. a�?I will be bringing down some exclusive Patan patolas (double ikat saris) and exquisite bandinis,a�? says Lalbhai, who has also revived the lost tradition of the Ashavali sarisa��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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