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    Purvi Patel’s work demonstrates the finesse of Parsi garo embroidery

    Designer Purvi Patel’s creations are like a piece of history. Her exquisite hand-embroidery, perfected over close to three decades, take you back to a bygone era of slow paced elegance. “Growing up in Ahmedabad, I was exposed very early to a variety of beautiful textiles and styles of tapestry. So, I naturally started leaning towards them,” she begins.

    Patel’s collections are always inspired by a historical art form. But rather than modifying them to make them current, she presents them as they were meant to be, which is perhaps what makes her clothes stand apart.

    Hanging by a thread

    Her current line of blouses and saris are a reflection of the 18th and 19th centuries—from Parsi gara to traditional Chinese embroidery, on silks. “When the Parsis came to India, specifically Gujarat, it was on the condition that they adopt Indian culture as their own. But they did introduce their own crafts, which are simply stunning but sadly rapidly dwindling even as we speak,” explains Patel. The heritage garo style of Patel’s collection employs French knots, damask, herringbone and zardosi styles of embroidery in radiant reds, pinks, blues and greens. Also on her shelves are a simple yet stunning range of Gujarati patan or double ikat saris, each one laboriously crafted over a period of nine months. “The warp and weft are dyed separately and then woven together. Just setting it up to be woven takes months,” Patel explains. Purple, yellow, red, black and green threads form abstract designs, contrasting and complementing each other. Some of her earlier works have taken inspiration from Gujarat’s dhamadka print, Sanganer block printing, royal coats of India and raised zardosi of the 17th to 19th centuries. She also undertakes bespoke orders for weddings and daily Indian wear. Rs 8,000 upwards. At Vermilion House, Benson Town. Details: 41225830

    —RR

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