It was a flurry of colours at the 25th edition of By Hand From The Heart’s Makers Market held at Crowne Plaza. From shirts in pastels and candy-hued footwear to calm blue and chirpy yellow home décor, the popup had almost everything and it all came wrapped in the delighful aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Here is our pick of five makers who presented their collection here for the first time.
As we walk in, we notice a couple of parents strolling about, sampling a slice of cheese or two, with their babies steadfastly wrapped in carriers strapped across their chests. “You get to keep your precious little ones close to you and have your hands free to do the other things you need to do. Win-win and simple, right?” smiles Bayiravi Mani, who started the brand in Gurgaon, four years ago. Kolkol was born out of necessity. When Bayiravi had her baby, she struggled to manage her career as a baker and care for the newborn. “I bought a wrap, wore my child in it and went back to work. One thing led to another and I fell deeper in love with babywearing and by the time my son turned one I knew what I wanted to do — make baby carriers,” she says. The brand works with cotton fabrics that are easy on the baby and the environment. “About 90% of our carriers are made from handwoven fabrics sourced from weaving clusters around the country. We also work with block printers in Bagru.”
The price range starts at ₹3,000. For details, log onto www.kolkolbabycarrier.com
This arty duo from Bengaluru believes in the concept of utility art. “This means items and objects that are not restricted to wall spaces alone, but in everyday objects. One fine day we started doing art on lamps, clocks, stationery…,” says Prashant Sharma who started this brand with Kumarika Singh in 2015. Their works primarily comprise paper and sometimes fabrics. These materials are then painted on and skillfully wrapped around lights, creating nightlamps with a golden glow. “We work with two artforms at present — watercolours and marbling,” says Kumarika who has a Master’s degree in Fine Art from MS University in Baroda. For Prashant, however, its his passion for discovering different art forms that keeps him going.
“Our products are handpainted. Our inspiration comes from Nature. We create our own marbling papers and convert them to various products. For now, the brand makes diaries, clocks, lamps.”
The price range starts at ₹500 and goes up to ₹5,000. Their website is currently under development.
“Aastey means ‘slowly’ in my mother tongue Sindhi. We wanted to take a step back and enjoy the whole process of creating our garments, hence the name,” says Sanjay Rohra who started the brand along with his sister Kusum in August 2018. The idea was to explore the traditional textiles of our country, he says. The brand focusses on natural materials such as cotton, khadi and linen. The siblings find great joy in working with weavers around the country and sourcing fabrics from them. “Our garments have clean cuts and interesting designs,” says Kusum, pointing to a summery shirt with a diagonal lapel. The present collection features block prints, ajrakhs and ikats. They also have sari blouses, including a few that looked like cropped jackets.
For details, log on to www.lovetimri.com
“My grandmother wanted an iPad sleeve made out of traditional fabric. So I cut up one of her old saris to stitch the same,” smiles Shreya Lohia, adding, “That’s how the idea of using Indian textiles to create unique products came about. Shreya studied Architecture but ever since she was a little girl, she has been collecting fabrics. “I use all kinds of cottons. But my favourite is a technique called itajime shibori— a clamp-dyed shibori technique that I practise out of my kitchen in Bengaluru,” she adds.
Her collection has trendy dresses, and tops — most with funky silhouettes. “I would call it dreamy, airy silhouettes in vibrant bright colours,” she says. On display were three collections — Nirjari and Neel Katha, and a small section titled Dadinesila ( which means stitched by grandmother and were stitched by her grandmother). “I work with a lot of free flowing silhouettes and like creating fabric sculptures,” says Shreya, who also makes jewellery out of the left-over material.
The price range starts at ₹300 for the jewellery and ₹900 for the clothes. Her collection is on Instagram under the name Rajasikaa.
In 2017, Bindu Nair quit her job as the editor of an online décor magazine and moved from Mumbai to Palakkad (Kerala), where her parents have an ancestral home. “I spent the next few months travelling around Kerala, visiting weaving hubs and sourcing samples, initially just for myself. And then, in February 2018, Ela was born,” says Bindu. Ela’s colour palette is primarily understated. But for The Birthday Edit, which was launched at this market, the designer has consciously worked on a more colourful palette, with a lot of reds, powder pinks and deep greens.
“We work with handloom cotton primarily,” she says, adding, “Our Ila shirt in handwoven linen is a classic piece that transitions well from a formal workwear shirt to a casual laidback style, depending on what you pair it with. We have created longer silhouettes for some of our classic pieces like the boxy top. This gave rise to the boxy shirt dress,” she says. The Bodhi Kurtis, The Krishna Wrap Dress (also has a flattering silhouette), The Paaro dress in Ikat, and the Champa Dress in handloom cotton are the other favourites from her collection.
The price range starts at ₹1,500.
Ela is on Instagram.