In 2016 Ritu Beri was appointed as the advisor to the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal to promote khadi, Ritu conceptualised ‘Vichar Vastra’, an easy-to-wear line. Over the past few years, she has has been consistent in her showcasing of khadi.
What’s up this year
This year, in a show titled Khadi Kaleidoscope, Beri showed her collection at the Indoesian embassy, bringing out the cross-cultural references to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Organised in tandem with I am Khadi, a not-for-profit, the purpose was to celebrate 150 years of the Mahatma’s birth anniversary.
What they looked like
Her silhouettes were flowy, while the palette was mainly black with darker shades, on display. She worked with both khadi cotton and silk. “There is a lot of drama that’s being created with these khadi outfits,” she says, taking them away from everyday workwear that people associate it with. “My collection is plush, magnificent, sprawling and a delightful mélange of contemporary and traditional silhouettes.”
What they stand for
“The collection takes khadi, from pret to couture. I have taken the traditional aspect of khadi and recreated a modern image of handspun fabric as a luxury,” she says. It’s now a symbol of our national pride and handmade-in-India value. Motifs are Indian, and Beri says she takes these with her no matter where she goes in the world.
What the show signified
Beri’s show was followed by another, of classical batik patterns on khadi by Indonesian designer Arty Israwan and contemporary batik patterns on khadi by Hendri Budiman. The show culminated with exquisite Batik patterns on saris by celebrity designer Carmanita. All this marked a significant step in our collaboration with Indonesian designers, with India exporting khadi, and designers there using batik to create new possibilities.
Beri’s next stop is at the Embassy of Uzbekistan tomorrow, where she will create a mélange of Indo-Western outfits. The collection will see live Uzbek music and a great deal of the land’s culture come alive.
Khadi Kaleidoscope will be available at the Ritu Beri Studio in Sainik Farms; ₹15,000 upwards