Anavila Misra took up the challenge of blending her signature handwoven linens with resham and zari

Known for her minimalist aesthetic, this spring summer 2016 designer Anavila Misra has recreated linen sarees, but with a fresh twist. Drawing on the theme of Balance, with ensembles that create Zen on handwoven linens, she has focussed on negative-positive energies to create a balance. The color palette was a beautiful expression of monochromatic tones with off-whites, beiges, ecru, peach, charcoal and midnight blue. The silhouettes mostly comprised of woven sarees, a few loose-fitted kurtas, a knitted linen dress and hints of jamdani.

India fashion week 2016 – Fashion shows

“It sometimes gets challenging to design within the reigns of the brand’s minimalist philosophy and yet come up with something new for the clients,” says the designer.

The silhouettes were 100% handwoven linen. So where did the twist come from? If you look at the collection closely, one can see glints of gold and silver. The first saree that came onto the ramp was a blend of linen, resham and zari. “This time we have experimented with a few more yarns that have been used with linen like zari (for the metallic effect) and cotton blends,” explains Anavila.

She sources most of her yarns from Bihar and West Bengal. It was a refreshing change to see something so subtle and exquisite at the same time, from these states. “Bengal and Bihar are rich in terms of fabrics and techniques.

Sitting in those villages, the weavers’ ideas are limited in terms of exposure. It is up to us designers to interact with them and introduce them to newer techniques.” Her experience of working with a government textile project goes a long way in understanding the effort involved in such endeavors.

So how does Anavila manage to work in sync with the weavers? “The weavers have been working with me for the past 4-5 years. Initially, they were not open to the idea of jamdani. However, with time, as the brand is growing, all of us are moving forward together. Now they are more comfortable in weaving a saree on a loom, and we are taking on new challenges.”

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