Raw Mango’s autumn-winter collection, ‘Heer’ is a festive showcase for the modern bride. Inspired by pre-partition Punjab, “a place of composite cultures where traditions and languages transcend religious boundaries”, Heer is a composite indeed, of many worlds. Stunningly gorgeous yet minimalist, this is an ode to a time when weddings were celebrated in grand old havelis surrounded by family and friends, steeped in an atmosphere of shared laughter, gossip and ribaldry.
Raw Mango’s Instagram headlines, “The idea of one woman or bride is an unrealistic ideal - ‘Heer’ emphasises uniqueness,” and how! Designer Sanjay Garg’s vision seems deceptively simple until one realises the painstaking revival of age-old techniques and textiles. Take for example the ‘Barfi’ sari, which features one of Varanasi’s oldest motifs, predating the era of ‘jacquard’ and ‘jaala’ techniques, and made with the ‘getwa’ loom. Garg shares: "... (the) textiles draw from vintage archival Varanasi silk brocades featuring motifs that gain meaning through history, culture and context.”
Heer is not just another wedding or festive collection; it seeks above all to tell us a story, recalling summer vacations spent listening to old tales by aunts and grandmothers. The campaign by Raw Mango could have leaped straight out of a sepia toned wedding album. With an atmospheric setting surrounded by palatial appointments, antique furniture and the sound of parakeets echoing the chatter of relatives gathered for a celebration, Heer is a celebration of nostalgia and classic beauty.
The collection features rich brocade sarees, knee length silk kurtas, floor grazing organza and brocade shararas, lehengas and silk-satin odhanis among others. Leaves of the neem tree, geometric lattices and floral trellises adorn a rich palette that steers clear of the done and dusted uniform of red for weddings, while mustard yellow, midnight-blue, green and purple provide additional relief from the saturation of pastel hues this season.
Post decades of Bollywood inspired pomp and glitzy glamour, Heer is a refreshing reminder of intimacy, of turning the gaze inwards and truly living the moment. Entirely handmade and sustainable, it invites us to a world where values take on new meaning. The fluidity of each silhouette ensures you dance at your sangeet with abandon and revel in pure joy, leaving the stress of hollow extravagance far behind.