While a career as a costume designer for films is not something that one would give up easily, Archana Shah’s love for native textiles determined her move to fashion designing. Having teamed up with indigenous artisans from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kutch, and Benares, Archana — who worked on films like Bhavni Bhavai, Mirch Masala and Hun among others — launched her label Bandhej in 1985. Her line, which includes kurtas, stoles, dupattas, skirts, blouses and saris, is available at Amethyst from tomorrow.
A self-confessed textile designer, she’s known for her inclination towards sustainable fashion and heritage handicrafts. “We use very simple silhouettes that are in sync with trends. That way, the label is not as fashion driven,” she says. Talking about her current collection, which includes a variety of cottons, silks, tussars and linens, the 60-year-old Ahmedabad-based designer says it was conceptualised keeping ‘wild Indian silks’ in mind.
On the eco-friendly front, the NID graduate uses a native variety called Kah-lah cotton. “I was invited by an NGO in Kutch as an adviser to develop this variety of cotton. Ever since 2012, I’ve only used Kah-lah cotton, a genetically pure variant of the species that is indigenous to the region.” Deliberately staying away from constructed cuts, the collection at Amethyst will feature loose and flowy silhouettes in shades of blue, aubergine and red.
Rs 750 onwards. From January 21. Details: 45991630
— Rebecca Vargese