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    Anavila Mishra and Priyadarhini Rao talk about their new collection and inspiration
    SARIS and separates, monochromes and festive colours — designers Anavila Misra and Priyadarshini Rao bring an eclectic range of women’s wear to the city this week. Kolkata-based Mishra’s designs are not new to Chennai. She had previously designed for the Craft Council of Tamil Nadu and Amethyst at Royepettah. This time around, she has explored brighter, festive colours like fuschia, orange, red and bright yellow.

    Her idea of a perfect blouse is something one can wear all day, in breathable fabrics like, cotton or linen. “As monochrome is in, the blouses are mostly of the same fabric and pattern as the sari. Another option could be using extended colours of the sari, or using gold or silver colours to match the zari,” she offers. The collection is done in linen for which the natural yarn was brought in from France.
    “The definition of a luxury sari has changed. It’s not about spending money anymore, it’s about understanding your comfort,” says Mishra, who personally doesn’t enjoy the fall or the texture of silk. Future trends too will revolve around making the sari more comfort-oriented, she says.

    04December6Rao, who visits the city often, has experimented with new textiles and cut. “I travel a lot and like collecting pieces. While mulling over a shawl from Kashmir and a wraparound from Goa, trying to mix them around, I realised that women, when it comes to separates, don’t want designers to dictate their style. They want to be challenged creatively,” says Rao, talking about her inspiration for the large collection of about 100 garments. Maxis can be paired with a transparent crushed, shirt or tunics can be paired with flared pants. The colour palette comprises coral, berries, shell and onion pink along with indigo blues and monochromes.

    Musician Anoushka Shankar who has shopped for Rao’s collection in Chennai, admits that she doesn’t feel out of place even in the UK in them. Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was spotted in another collection of Rao’s. But for the 40-something designer, every client is king. “In Chennai, I’m on first name basis with many of my clients. These are the kind of women I design for and relate to.”
    From today, at Collage. Rs 7,000 onwards. Details: 28291443

    Seema Rajpal

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