History, in Cahoots with Modernity

Kolkata houses some of the greatest designers in India. Though we are all aware of the rich heritage and the rare workmanship this city brings to the table in the Indian fashion industry, the atypical cuts and refreshing artsy designs often go unnoticed. The workmanship from this city doesn't contain itself to the fine hand work in terms of embroidery with zardozi or thread, but the designs from this city also speak in terms of luxe fabrics, unique drapes and unexpected combinations. I couldn't help but wonder how a few designers were able to add a touch of modernity while keeping the sacred culture intact. Hence to soothe my curiosity, I visited a few stores in the city of Joy.

One such designer, whose collection offers much more than just the usual Indian attire, is Esha Sethi Thirani (EST). Her past collections can be described as bold, beautiful and unconventional with a lot of character. So this time when I visited Kolkata, I decided to visit her store in Queen’s Park and try out some of the pieces from her collection.

The three pieces that I picked from EST's collection reflected strong design elements in different styles and depicted merging of traditional with contemporary. The first outfit - A Gown, is a part of EST’s Paris Fashion Week collection called Qalamkar. The earthy tones of the gown - red, brown and ecru are brought together with one definitive colour – black, on fabrics that are as diverse as the sturdy unbleachable jute cotton and the delicate tulle. The deep neck with the qalamkari figurines appliques and baroque style embroidery combines modernity and history, giving power to the gown. I teamed it up with multiple layers of locally sourced pieces made from fabric and beads. The headband was used to add modernity to this outfit.

The second outfit is an exceptional blend of denim lycra sari with pearl details and a structured aanchal. I kept the look fairy simple with a rustic choker piece to highlight the structure and fluidity of the sari and to set the bucolic vibe. An avant-garde style blouse helps give this sari a refreshing look that matches the millennial in me today.

The third look is a white scuba co-ord set that features a white body top with bouffant sleeves and a hand embroidered pencil skirt. This piece carries a bold effect with it’s puffed up sleeves portraying a blend of modern tailoring with structured silhouettes. Letting the sleeves do all the talking, this look was kept extremely simple and yet it made heads turn as I walked passed the streets.

Photo credit:

Devang Bhandari, Jyotika Baijal

Celebridey Highlights:

· Kolkata gifts the fashion industry a rare combination of its rich cultural heritage with freshness

· Esha Sethi Thirani knows exactly what would suit an individual

· Her warm nature and creative eye reflects in her label

· Her collection is available in various stores across India; however, you can shop her collection online on her website or order via Instagram as well

· Who could have thought of wearing a denim lycra sari?

· Esha's collection offers many such refreshing cuts and styles

More designers blending our old culture with new age coming up in the next blog...

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