The 69-year old Ritu Kumar has recently shown her latest collection at a bridal couture show. Beginning her own career with just four hand block printers, Ritu still stresses the importance of the traditional Indian weave and she doesn’t agree that the Indian industry has already achieved much from the handloom heritage of India.
“We’ve barely explored the potential the country has. We are going through a post-colonial hangover where everything from the West is better. But cotton will do us a lot of good, especially in this hot country. It has all the right things going for it. There has to be more facilitation from the government”, the designer says “We need to encourage Indian fashion.”
Her collection is divided in four different themes. “The first was a display of the whites of India. In fact, our cotton grows in different shades of white” she explains, “The second was a more naughtier theme. It was more Bollywood glamour from the 60s-70s. It also reflected a semi European-colonial fun. The third was all about layered elegance – ghararas, farshis and the likes. A few of the outfits were particular to the Hyderabadi sensibilities. In the finale was the bridal couture with zardosi embellished lehengas, bandinis and so on. These were a reflection of the repertoire of the craft relations of the country.”
A careful consideration shows how this collection exactly reflects her international soul, and the perfect marriage of both present and past.