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    Fabindia introduces a line of western wear with Fabels

    FABINDIA forays into the world of contemporary western wear through its chic, new line, Fabels. Scottish-origin designer, Alistair Blair, spearheads the label, merging clean lines with hand-crafted textiles and traditional techniques yet steering clear of ‘Indo-western’ or ‘fusion’ tags (we loved their dhoti-inspired skirts for women!).

    True to textile
    “Fabels basically carries the DNA of Fabindia in a contemporary avatar,” begins Blair, enthusiastically taking us through his structured jackets, skirts, dresses, blouses and gaucho pants for women, and lapel and Chinese-collar jackets, waistcoats, trousers and shirts for men. All made from handcrafted textiles like linen, cotton, mulmul and silk, often combined in their pure form. “I have seen a large number of textiles from top-class mills around the world, but I was truly awed by the beauty of those that come from traditional Indian looms,” says Blair who has, over his three decade-long career in the fashion industry, worked with couture brands like Dior, Givenchy, Cerruti and Chloe.

    The designer tells us of his initial reaction and wonder at the pain-staking hand work that goes into each of Fabindia’s pieces and the talent among artisans that was his source of inspiration. Hours spent at the drawing board watching artisans around him hand-block and hand-stitch, come to life in this collection in which chanderi sari prints and chikankari embroidery are transferred onto formal mulmul shirts for women, while lapel jackets are hand-blocked and then finished with gudri work.
    Our favourites from the collection are the classic red and black A-line dress, the wrap around floral-print blouse and the navy jacket for men with its barely-visible block print in black.

    On the racks
    The core colour wheel of the line is red, black, navy, coral and white, which Blair says, “Is intended to allow people to buy one piece from flow one and come back and find something in practically the same shade from flow two to match.” He hopes to bring out a more exuberant collection for men during Diwali, where bolder prints and colours will feature. The line also features a select range of accessories from beaded neckpieces, cuffs and earrings to hand-blocked totes and formal shoes.

    Rs. 990 upwards. At CMH Road, Indiranagar. Details: 41105719

    —Susanna Chandy


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