Prints are big at the showing of the autumn-winter 2019 outing of the Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from March 13 to 17, a by-invitation only event. Nikki Mahajan, for instance, is reviving block printing with her collection, Tashkent.
Believing in the block
Shalini James, from Kerala, who works with artisans in Rajasthan, is opening the show with Chitrakoot: The Enchanted Forest. Her hand blocks will be in focus, on saris and tunics. It’s all about prints with forest foliage motifs, done with Liva, an eco-friendly fabric, made from wood pulp and known for its fluidity. “Its high receptiveness to colour made it ideal for this collection of dark, mysterious forest hues in natural dyes. I have a fascination for hand block prints. So this time, the resist dyeing technique of Bagru in Rajasthan, with the liberal influence of hand block-printing techniques of Gujarat will come to life,” says James. She sticks to vegetable dyes and traditional processes to ‘freeze’ colours, such as treating the cloth with myrobalan solution, derived from a nut.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Charu Parasher, who will be showing digital prints on contemporary clothing. “Avant Gardiste is a melange of the modern technique of digital printing and detailed hand-embroidery. The inspiration is derived from chintz, and floral designs have been digitally printed on the fabric,” she says. Parasher was committed to Sanganer and Bagru block prints, but because of the fading and bleeding, she switched to digital printing. “We can create more and clients do not have to wait for six months to get their orders,” she says. Her contribution to keeping artisans engaged, is in the hand-embroidery that she superimposes on these prints.
Samanth Chauhan usually uses blocks, but is going the digital print way too. He is showcasing a collection with a sporty edge. Samant says that “since the fabric is sustainable (Liva), I decided to make a foray into digital.” Look out for his Egyptian motifs.