When Sunita Yogesh was pursuing a designing course in London, she was pleasantly surprised about how crazy people are about Indian textiles.
“Ethnic wear is awe-inspiring for them because it is handmade — every single piece of cloth in the UK is machine-made so much so that patterns for weaves are also fed into a computer,” narrates Sunita.
Because the West is aware about different fabrics in India but this enthusiasm was lacking back home, she wanted to create a collection of saris that speak of Tamil Nadu’s heritage.
“Indians take our arts crafts for granted. We don’t realise their beauty because we see it every day.” Titled Folklore, her yet-to-be launched line has a three-dimensional approach and purpose.
“I’ve seen the immense effort artisans take to create different prints and weaves so first and foremost, I wanted to bring their talents to the fore,” she explains.
Tamil Nadu’s rich history is her biggest inspiration so she wanted to celebrate all kinds of art forms like architecture, paintings, etc. which have been followed for centuries in the state and tell stories of them through the weaves.
She says, “Each art form educates us about a segment of people, for example, Brihadishvara Temple shows us how the Chola kings lived. So for my collection, a lot of ideas has been drawn from various sources like the domes of ancient monuments or Karadikudi tiles.”
Olden day motifs like mayilkannu (peacock’s eye) and mango can be seen in the zari work, but with a contemporary twist. “The colour schemes are also new because I wanted this to suit the younger generation.”
Finally, she wants to showcase all the ancient wonders on silk because she feels it is a powerful enough canvas to tell these tales. “Silk is not just a material but an emotion for me,” she summarises.