At a talk in the capital, the industry veteran designer Ritu Kumar said, “We have to make sure to use their (weavers’) handloom fabrics in an unconventional way.” She said “figure-hugging saris” have been part of the country’s fashion scene since time immemorial – pointing out to some images of the court clothing worn by royalty in ancient India. The photographs are part of her 1999 book “Costumes and Textile of Royal India”.
The designer took the audience on a journey through the evolution of court costumes, and the designer fondly spoke of intricate craftsmanship, overwhelming yards of handwoven fabrics and the man hours it must have taken to shape up most ensembles. The designer believes that the basics of local craftsmen in the country are very strong, and the techniques aren’t easy to learn either. Hence, she is all for aiding them with the right remuneration, providing them conducive working conditions and in pioneering a concerted collective voice to fight for their rights.