Mumbai:Veteran actress Shabana Azmi, whoextensively works with the artisans in Mijwan, lent her support to Meera and Muzaffar Ali’s latest ‘Kotwara’ show at the Lakme Fashion Week.
Kotwara was founded with the idea to revive the traditional craft of Awadh (Uttar Pradesh, India) in 1990.
Zardosi and chikankari embroideries have been the forte of Kotwara with some of the finest craftsmen working for generations at Anhalwara Palace, Kotwara in Lakhimpur Kheri and Kotwara House, Qasierbagh Palace Complex in Lucknow.
“My journey with Mijwan and Muzaffar’s journey with Kotwara started at the same time while we were both working on a film called ‘Anjuman’. The artisans who do such craft, their situation is painful and we should support them,” Azmi said.
The Kotwara collection was designed by Meera and Muzaffar’s younger daughter, Sama Ali, who joined the brand in 2014, and now heads the design team.
Inspired by Muzaffar Ali’s paintings there was an interpretation from prints to a great melange of motifs, which moved seamlessly from chikankari to zardosi and Kamdani embroidery.
To set the mood of the collection, the very graceful Shivani Varma danced elegantly on the ramp. Opening the show with the white section of chikan work of a very high order, there were kurtas, shararas, anarkalis, angarkhas and dupattas that were at times turned into capes with ruffles.
Starting the show on a pastel shade card of white, pale blue, pink, peach and green, the colours then moved to stronger hues like fuchsia and black, all encrusted with beautiful embellishments in sensational designs.
Occasionally, a white sari was teamed with a fuchsia choli and a lehenga in the same colour was worn with an asymmetric angarkha. There was a hint of contemporary styling with a corset and lehengas or a bustier with long slim unattached sleeves.
“Both Muzaffar and Meera have shown their concern and sensitivity with their work to the craftsmen. Silhouettes are better in the west but they can’t do handicraft.
“It is a matter of great pride that Sama takes this tradition forward and tweaks it like the young do,” Amzi said.
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