Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Baluchari Brouhaha

By SavithaHira
Photography: Courtesy Agnimitra Paul

Baluchari Kurti

Design is known to reinvent itself. Patterns, textures, colours, forms, the overall look and feel – whether fabric or interior, at some time or other goes through a revisit process, where contemporizing becomes imminent.  The latest in the offing are talks about reinventing the renowned Bengal signature of Baluchari.

From being speckled at in Vogue’s recent Rennaisance Project to Kolkata based designer Agnimitra Paul’s diligent crusade, the traditionally revered Baluchari is being worked upon to give it the young on-the-move fizz with the alluring twist of irresistible cut and style that makes every woman want to have a Baluchari outfit or saree – and not for that occasional do; but as a significant item of semi-formal ethnic wear.

Baluchari Anarkali Kurta

Speaking to Agnimitra, we find that the designer is all out for a state-of-the-art change with a formal governmental approach, waiting for certain sanctions that will revive the intricate craft of the Baluchari and modernize its avatar at the same time - a commendable effort at resuscitating these craftspeople and of course, the gradually fading craft.

Baluchari Pallu with Rust Cotton Silk and Maroon Cotton Net Skirt

Working on the premise that the woman of substance can find a range of wear that dares to be different, standing apart for its unusual cut, vibrant colour, wearable fabric and flamboyant look, Agnimitra has her blueprint ready to reincarnate the conventional colour palette of the Baluchari into the modern English palette of olive green, rose pink ivory and the like. Pallus can get lighter too with the conventional narrative shifting to stylized blouses, moving positively away from the been-there-done-that scenario that is so typical of a traditional weave.

Light beige baluchari silk sari                                                                                Photography: Courtesy beautyballs.com

For its cotton counterpart, she intends to popularize and bring it into the everyday wardrobe via regular and evening wear. With this, the Baluchari motifs can be repositioned to suit modern tastes and cuts, enticing the woman on the move. Evening gowns are another area of interest that she is keenly pursuing, definite that they would stand out as uber chic adding on to the existing range of velvets, georgettes, satins, etc.

 The unexpected with the traditional by DKNY                Photography: Courtesy theasianfashionjournal.com

With detail being the inherent highlight of the Baluchari, specifically based on the depiction of folklore, fable and mythology, purely on the design level, it will be interesting to see the various reincarnates that the designer can come up with, without disturbing the sanctity of the craft and in the long run, truly empowering the skill set.

Baluchari Motifs


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