18 May, 2021

The Potholed Catwalk Of Banaras

Beyond the glamour and hype of celebrity designers, handloom is still a dying craft of poor weavers

Threads Of Kashi
Born in Banaras by Sabyasachi Mukherji
The Potholed Catwalk Of Banaras
outlookindia.com
2017-01-06T17:57:27+05:30

Out on the sunny lawns of Delhi’s Lodhi Garden, against the dulling walls of the tomb of Moh­ammad Shah, young fashion designer Sneha Singhal is getting herself photographed in an ext­r­avagant handloom Jamdani drape. The purple sari, a lucky find, is embellished with an intricately woven elephant pattern, similar to the one that, at almost that precise moment, Salman Bagaar is hunched over to weave on his handloom, in a dingy room tucked away in Lohta village, six kilometres from the heart of Varanasi. The 16-year-old, whose work has anonymously made it to the racks of fashion boutiques, is busy weaving and toiling away to earn his daily wage. Photoshoot done, Singhal too ­begins weaving—with words—for her next blog, fashionably hashtagged #iwearhandloom, rendered famous by Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani to pro­mote Indian handloom. The cause was since taken up by the Fashion Des­ign Council of India (FDCI), which in Ama­­zon India Fashion Week (AIFW) 2015 began with a focus on Banarasi weaves, and this year dedicated the...

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