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    1Giving block prints a contemporary twist, Soma Shop opens in the city

    Tucked into a 3,000 sq ft bungalow in Nungambakkam, Jaipur’s Soma Shop opened its first outlet in Tamil Nadu on January 21. Founded by Canada-returned couple, Radhakrishnan Nair and Andrea Pouliot in 1984, the brand was started as an export company in the Pink City—aimed at giving a global platform to block-print artisans. A mention in the 2005 Forbes Top 30 shops’ list and eight stores later, Soma Shop today sells a collection of dresses, tunics, saris and stoles along with furnishing and knick knacks like dolls, book covers and coasters.
    Print perfect
    Giving block prints a contemporary twist, their collection retains the tradition, but with brighter, bolder colours combined with pastels, and botanical and geometric motifs. “We realised that traditional block-printing colours like indigo, black and rust didn’t really go well with western aesthetics, especially when it comes to things like upholstery and home decor. That’s when we decided to revamp the idea of block prints,” says Nair, who is based in Jaipur.
    Fabric tales
    Speaking about why they didn’t come to the city earlier, Nair explains that they were property-hunting for the ‘perfect’ space for over two years. Better late than never, we say! Their furnishing line consists of duvets, pillow covers, curtains and quilts. They also launched their line of organic cotton clothes for newborns and kids (till the age of six) three years ago. Meanwhile, for Chennai, they have something special planned. “Since we’ve opened the store just as we’re approaching summer, we’ll be concentrating on dresses and tops in very fine cotton, and saris and stoles in silk and chiffon,” signs off Nair.

    On Kodambakkam High Road. Products are priced between Rs 100 and Rs 10,000. Details: 28250185

    Janane Venkatraman

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