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Designer Spotlight - Renu Dadlani / Chikankari / Parsi Gara / Kashmiri Jamawar / Paper Mechier

Sunday 12 May 2019 /

Indian age old crafts are falling into oblivion and it’s no wonder the focus is shifting to fast fashion and the whole market is being pushed beyond its envelop.Indian craft and heritage is a legacy which needs to be passed on but is the younger generation or as we call them MILENNIALS aware of the ancient weaving skills,the mastery of the thread work, or natural appreciation on these laborious garment?  I don't think so! 
It is clear that the onslaught of modern technology has taken its toll on weaving or traditional forms of trade.
Today I am going to introduce you to Women Ethnic label Renu Dadlani,whom I had the pleasure to spark a dialogue about various facets of Indian crafts and different embroideries found in her designs.Initially I wasn't aware what surprise awaits me when one day I was asked to come visit her studio space in Sarvodya Enclave and check out various thread work embroideries she expertise in at the same time conversing with my ignorant self- C'mon how good it can be? She only said one sentence - "Seeing is Believing " so just come. I was drawn to her confidence and commitment and the passion that resounded in whatever 5 minute of conversation we had! The meeting was fixed later in the week and I won't lie it was so surprising to meet a designer who was not only passionate about her work but was also working towards a vision to bring something new while reviving the age old crafts.I feel that's where the whole difference lies and believe me,I can draw this conclusion after meeting hundreds of designers and attending about endless fashion shows and fashion weeks.The fire,the passion,the love,the purity - I found everything in one label.

Renu Dadlani is Rejuvenating the crafts by giving the  whole mechanism a little push,and producing designs keeping in mind the needs of the customer and recent trends which also don't drain the pocket rather meets the needs of the discerning buyer.Her main work includes CHIKANKARI,KASHMIRI JAMAWAR,ZARDOSI,PARSI GARA And PAPER MECHIER etc.She believes in teaching the artisans various techniques and creating value out of their talent.Not only that they are being rewarded in their journey with Renu Dadlani they are also taught how to fuse the ancient with modern in order to make a fashionable attire for today's modern Bride, at the same time not ignoring the fashion needs of a simple working woman,or maybe a College girl looking to wear something Ethnic yet fashionable. That's the beauty of the Brand.She caters to every kind of woman,and understands where the aesthetics of this fashion industry is going.With Renu Dadlani you can get only quality. Recognised for their design which anyone would be happy to pass it on to the generation because not only they are timeless,they have prevailed over 100 years and still make their relevance for their exclusivity.
You are soon going to find out when you scroll down to these beautiful pictures depicting her designs and how each one of them can narrate a beautiful story.

Sharing her vision,Techniques and a little bit about the designer in my tete-a-tete with her and some fun facts and behind the scenes.

Question: Please tell us about your craft and variety of embroideries used on the garments?
Ans.) Thread crafts and the needle techniques,few on small frames,few on a wide wooden frame (Adda) and few from the looms.These are not just the crafts for us, these are the traditions we are trying to retain. If you ask for the names then you can simply call them CHIKANKARI, PARSI-GARA and Kashmiri embroideries such as JAMAWAR and PAPER MECHIER.These are the widely known names given to the art-forms, but when we talk of our craft and work,we would love to include the terms, wood carving, block- printing,
khaka development, traditional washing techniques, different dyeing techniques etc.
So, for us,this is the journey of woven textile from one solid form to the textured,elaborated, detailed, structured and coloured garments.
For example,Chkankari is the textured form of the textile and Kashmiri Jamawar is the art of the embroidery where colourful threads cover the surface of raw fabric and give it a reversible feel, we have the collection of Kashmiri Sarees where the base fabric is not even visible.

Question- How elaborate is the production process?

Ans.) If we are talking about the duration of developing the particular ensemble, then I would say it is different for each hand-made article. Few takes months to develop the surface, others take more than a year.
The production of an ensemble starts with the designing whereas as an inspiration, we study the age-old cultures which are responsible for the birth of the craft traditions.
We develop motifs, color stories and moods followed by the sketches of the silhouettes. Once we are sure with the look, which is not just to justify the design but also has to do with the justice with hand-crafted evergreen fashion traditions.

The journey begins now.The raw textile is first given for the dyeing and our dyeing team from Lucknow is master in the traditional dyeing techniques.
As per the desired look, the raw textile would be marked with the patterns. At this stage, the whole process can go wrong if the stitching team doesn’t take care of a very important issue which is shrinkage while dyeing, wash and embroidery.
Simultaneously wooden block Artist carves the required motif and block. The khaka-artist develops the khaka once he gets the patterns of the design.
The marked textile then goes for printing. Block printing artists are too good with their skill. “When he holds the block to trace the impression, his calculation never goes wrong".
Now the raw printed surface is all set to be converted into the legacy by the experts of the needle-art.
So,the result of the passion they hold for years is the transformation of a raw textile into the hand-crafted luxury ensembles.
The journey of textile doesn’t end here. Now behind the scene washers and dyers comes into the frame to clean and polish the embroidered piece of "jewel".
So for us, any of the crafts are not an individual. This is an Idea where several artists work together and several communities are involved to create an "individual piece of Art".

Question- What is the perspective and ideology you had in mind when you started?
Ans- It is about 20 to 22 years ago when the idea was evolved.I always had love and passion for the thread embroideries,and during my research on these I found that it was the decline period of these arts but the fact is that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Many were working to revive the art-forms. While traveling I found majorly the form of the craft being revived was not as good as earlier traditional one. So, because of my personal attachment I gave my thoughts to it and started developing the collection of a few cotton ensembles, only in the best quality.
This is how the journey started to maintain the legacy of these art forms. Later, I involved Parsi-Gara, Kashmiri Jamawar, and paper mechier also with it.

Question- How do you acknowledge your artisans and craft or people that work for you and how do you want your buyers to respond to this art?

Ans- We have a team of Karigars since 20 years,and we encourage them by appreciating the work they do.We always consider them as the pillars to the label and fromTime to time they are rewarded for their efforts, in cash incentive, gifts and bonus. Apart from all these, they are our family,and we strongly believe that these practices have to be passed on to their next generation and the generation should also take it as an honour to participate and not because they have no option but to do the same work their forefathers have been doing.
We are glad to share that the next generation of the artisans,who have worked for us 20 years back is happily involved with us and doing a great job.
(What we expect from the buyer) Everyone has a different perspective. For some its a couture garment, for some this may be just a nice saree and few may find my designs differing their taste.
We want our buyer to feel the purity of the handwork.Someone has lived with it for so long to make it into this luxurious design,we want them to understand the originality of these garments and these art-forms, at the same time we want our buyers to feel proud of owning the handwork legacy which they can later pass down to their next generations. 

Question- Your views on sustainability?
Ans- Sustainability should be the next trend.It is the" future.”The growing and fast moving fashion culture are somewhere affecting the traditional environment, but sustainable fashion maintains it because of its depth and long-lasting attribute.
Each culture has significance for the society and the arts and crafts are an integral part of sustaining the culture.The present emerging lifestyle can influence arts and crafts. However the originality of arts and crafts needs to be maintained.
For example Parsi- Gara is completely different from chikankari or Kashmiri,despite being a thread craft.Visual appearance is created with the much bold and prominent motifs,which adds color and vibrancy to a solid textile.
The motifs of Gara have evolved by the time,but the original look is sustained.We believe in exploring designs because “explorations are always required to break the monotony,without affecting the original appearance,significance and the quality of the garment.
Question- What vision do you have for your brand /label?
Ans.) My USP is the work and I want to spread the awareness of these art forms worldwide.I want the label to be identified with the best-handcrafted luxury worldwide .

Look 1
I am wearing a Luxurious Chikankari Thread work Lehenga with impeccable craftsmanship and a labour of 18 months to finish this whole outfit .Classy never goes out of style and that's what makes all her designs especially and one of a kind.

Look 2 - The Second look features a Long Flowy Anarkali style jacket with Pink Buds and yellow blooms in a traditional Parsi Gara embroidery.The Pink Sharara comes embossed with tone on tone Chikankari and a Parsi border.This outfit is a perfect Amalgamation of traditional with modern stitching and a color palette fresh for a summer Mehandi or Iftar parties starting this month of Ramadan. 

Look 3 - 
Nothing beats the elegance of a Saree and every woman wants to cherish something with a little bit of history attached to it and what better than a Chikankari saree in pure white !!!  Dreamy isn't it?
This white Saree features pure Georgette Chikankari work and a Labour of 12 months to complete.I personally feel I have never felt more beautiful (inside out) in a saree before and the minute I draped this master piece,I knew this it to be a perfect hands me down design I was holding on to. 

Look 4 - The final and the last picture series Features this Beautiful Parsi Gara Lehenga from Renu Dadlani" Palette of Hues "collection.Generally we don't see a lot of pastel options in a traditional"Gara embroidery but this royal Lehenga gets its own renewed twist with these Pastel florals merged into beautiful pastel shades still keeping the originality of the design.The lehenga comes with two dupattas -The pink one being the veil with Zardosi border and the second dupatta features the same design as the lehenga itself.

Look 2 and look 4 location courtesy - Andaz Delhi 

MOBILE - 9810052661
ADDRESS - Renu Dadlani, D-282, Sarvodaya enclave, near mothers international school, New Delhi-110017

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