Amritvarshini – Six yards of grace hand-painted in traditional, abstract motifs

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Artist Chandan Das from Odisha created brand Amritvarshini   

Mumbai: Amritvarshini is a new brand that offers a collection of hand-painted sarees, blouse pieces, kurtas and thread work jewellery. It is the result of the hard work of artist Chandan Das from Odisha. The duo has worked rigorously for a couple of years to put down their imagination on fabrics.

Through his creations, the artist has showcased an amalgamation of design and creativity. Amritvarshini, as the name suggests, is adapted from a Hindustani classical raga. The sarees in the collection, which is in its nascent stage, comprises traditional motifs as well as abstract prints or geometric patterns. It offers a variety of styles and trends to the contemporary woman.

The collection of sarees came by as Das wanted to do something that an Indian woman can instantly identify with. From the formative years of his life, he was inclined towards art and music. “During school and college days I didn’t get a chance to pursue my dream,” he said.

Das completed post-graduation in HR and went on to join Tata Robins Fraser as a junior manager, HR. However, a typical day job made him claustrophobic and couldn’t tie him for long. He resigned from the job that would have been a dream for anyone and everyone.

He resigned from the job in 1993 and returned to his hometown, Bhubaneswar. “I started an advertising agency in the city to give wings to my dream as it was the right time,” he said.

An artist and dreamer, Das was not happy with what he was doing. It was then that he left for Bangalore in search of a new vision. Later on, he moved to Mumbai and now he is based in New Delhi.

In the national capital, he worked with many fashion E-commerce companies, but again he was not happy. “I always wanted to do something out-of-the-box and was searching for a vertical where I could use my creativity and my life’s lessons. A friend suggested me to do something that women could identify with and that’s how Amritvarshini came up.

All his creations tell a story. The collection comprises pure silk and cotton sarees that have hand-painted Kerala mural art, Warli art from Maharashtra, Kantha stitch from West Bengal that adds to the glamour of the attire.

Some of his best designs include a saree with tea and coffee stain painting and another one — a replica of a marker pen art. He has also drawn inspiration from Jamini Roy paintings, while his jewellery designs are an extension of his sarees and kurtas.

Designer, Rina Dhaka once said Indian women and the saree go hand-in-hand. This is what inspired Das to start Amritvarshini. “Saree is an Indian woman’s statement to the world. It is an ageless charm since it is not cut or tailored for a particular size,” he said.

The six-yard wonder can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation, which flourished during 2800-1800 BC around the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The earliest known depiction of the saree is the statue of an Indus Valley priest wearing a drape.

Who can forget the flowing floral French chiffons of the late Maharani Gayatri Devi or the crepe de chine that Rekha wore in the movie ‘Silsila’. Sonia Gandhi’s crisp cotton sarees and Hema Malini and Vidya Balan’s kanjeevarams are elegance personified.

 

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