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    Varuna Anand on why this accessory will never be out of place in your bag

    TEMPTING us with yet another collection of Pashmina shawls, Varuna Anand  returns to Chennai. With a background in design (with Satya Paul and home textiles brands like John Lewis, Fraser,Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few) Varuna, now residing in Kashmir, uses her experience to sustain this vintage textile where each shawl takes from a year to 18 months  to complete. Her tryst with the hand-embroidered accessory began when she got married and moved to Jammu with her husband Parveen Anand. The duo started The Splendour of Kashmir (an endevour to promote the art of shawl making from Kashmir, paying tribute to these highly skilled craftsmen) in 2011. “I saw the shawls that my mother-in-law and others in Kashmir possessed and it was so different from the ones we get in Delhi. That is when I realised what Pashmina truly is,” says Varuna. Experimenting with hues, Varuna shares, “I have innovated in terms of colour. And I want to try to reproduce patterns documented in history, without modernising them,” she says. In Chennai, she will offer various new collections — chambray shawls with a white base and coloured weft, kani shawls with bolder patterns (carpet designs converted into shawls), sui kaam jamawar shawls in mustard, pink, bottle green and other bright hues.
    Cashmere for keeps
    Her three-point guide for buyers:
    ♦ The light reversible shawls with zari on one side will add festivity to any ensemble. Chambray shawls are for a casual look, ombre shawls (each shawl will have three shades of one colour) will add colour to any outfit.
    ♦ Varuna’s personal favourite, sui kaam jamawar is all about heritage. With a combination of intricate and extensive hand embroidery, the shawl is heavy and the base fabric is not visible. During winter, one can’t go wrong with this.
    ♦ The durable kani shawls are perfect for people who are travelling “because there is no question of pulling a thread”. Over the years the kani has changed. Earlier people used to make four pieces and then put them together. But they realised that after a few years the pieces began to tear apart. Now most kani shawls are woven in one piece, making it more durable.
    At Evoluzione, September 14-15. Rs 10,000 onwards. Details: 28333627

    Mayuri J Ravi

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