From structured garments to saris that celebrate temple architecture – Sanjay Garg brings his fashion to the gallery
ANJAY GARGS is a man on a mission. Between shows in Hong Kong and Lucknow, he has managed to squeeze in two days for an artistic outing in Bangalore. At the heritage villa that is GallerySke, he will present a couple of collections for the first time in the city. After all, Bangalore understands his vision, he says, proceeding to describe the three shuttle weaving and interlocking weft that have resulted in saris with a strong architectural connect. It is a homage to the simple South Indian temples built before the Mughal period, and though, ironically, he is yet to visit one, he knows what he is about. Having shown at both Lakme and Amazon fashion weeks last year, the designer who is originally from Rajasthan says this is his 2016 story. It will feature both the kadwa brocade technique and the mushroo collection from the Sanjay Garg Signature Line. There will be over 40 looks and scores of examples of both fine weaving and tailoring techniques. “I want to change the way we look at fashion and handloom,” he begins, admitting that when he revived chanderi saris six years ago, people thought it foolhardy. The saris scored in both boardrooms and on runways, as did his unconventional blouses and petticoats. The brocade story followed, then the mushroo. “I did brocade lehengas in 2014, and everyone told me it would not work. It did.” The designer admits that the lehenga has become “a bad word today, with the fish cut and other unecessary updates. Yet simplicity is what makes it work. I should know, with my roots in Rajasthan.”
With a mix of both creativity and strategy, Garg’s is a success story that has inspired other designers to celebrate craftsmanship. In six years, he has expanded to 450 looms with 900 people, and has plans to acquire more space in Bangalore and Delhi. While colour – bold blues, vermilion and pinks – is his story, he has also experimented with charcoal in different proportions. “I am tired of cliches and cater to people around the world,” he says proudly, about his lehengas, dresses and the choga (long-sleeved robe). At the show, they will be showcased to a folk-African beat. As for his Raw Mango saris, you will agree they are sensuous yet wearable and an addiction you wouldn’t want to cure. Not really.
February 27-28, 11 am to 7 pm. Rs 4,500 – Rs 1.75 lakh. At #2 Berlie Street, Langford Town. Details: 080 41213161
Two in the frame
Garg is a fan of the vivid colours from Tamil Nadu, of temple borders and elephants. And yet, he did not want to make Three Shuttles a repeat of the Kanjeevaram sari. It explains why his campaign (left), which took four days and about 50 pictures, features couples (friends and acquaintances) who tell a story of a new India that values its weavers. Among his models are Jason Cheriyan and Anshu Arora who run the label Small Shop. “We said yes because we liked the concept and the natural setting,” begins Cheriyan. “I appreciate how he takes a product and explores its depth. He is a man of details.” Cheriyan will be collaborating with Garg later.
— Rosella Stephen