Turning the Wheel of Fashion
When I set foot into the world of fashion, the ambience was very different. The fashion industry in India was still in its nascent stages and designers explored a spectrum of styles as against merely following reigning trends. I, for one, was greatly enamored by the sheer grace and elegance of classic Indian textiles and motifs. I loved incorporating earthy colors, and never hesitated from experimenting with new permutations and combinations. In fact, these were the designs that eventually gave me a signature style or an identity that truly defined me.
To give an example, one of my most coveted creations – Shrishti – is made on these lines. It is an amalgamation of subtle colors, handcrafted embroidery, and classic design. While the saree, colored in traditional deep red, is adorned with a simple gold border, the blouse is made in exquisite black silk with embroidery as delicate as that of a flower. Made in the ethnic ‘Kolam’ design, it comes with a stylized back that is popularly called the ‘matka’ back. This design became so popular among my friends, clients, and fashionistas, that it became the face of my brand.
Inspired by this decorated and just as appreciated blouse, I adapted the design into an anarkali with an embellished yoke of intricate and carefully crafted handiwork. Also, I have revived more of my classic saree and blouse designs in the form of anarkalis as part of latest collection, only to highlight the eternity in their beauty.
I have always maintained that trends in the fashion industry only come and go. What stays eternal are the classics that have come down since several centuries and generations. Shrishti was conceptualized and designed in the early days of my career as a designer. 25 years down line, I find undiminished demand and appreciation for this style, which only reinforces my belief that style is not defined by trends and changing tastes. It is about wearing what defines you, so you can make a statement without having to utter even a word.
Mulling over Mulmul
Every fabric has a story – from the moment of discovery, it’s journey and evolution make for a captivating narrative. More often than not, these fabrics are accidentally stumbled upon, only to change the way the world has known textiles and its many functionalities. The Muslin cloth is undoubtedly one such discovery.
While many believe that muslin comes from Mosul in Iraq, others suggest that the cloth came from Dhakeshwari, now Dhaka – the capital city of Bangladesh. It is said that Sulaiman, an Arab merchant of the 9th century, documented the textile’s origin to be Bengal, from where it went on to create waves across the world. During the 17th and 18th centuries, muslin redefined quality textiles across Europe, something the British were not very happy about. They attempted to curtail its growth by manipulating knowledge and methodologies, but their efforts went in vain. Despite a lull that is believed to have last about as long as two centuries, the fabric rose in popularity for its sheer quality and beauty; and there has been no looking back since.
Muslin is a term implying cotton fabric of plain weave. It is characterized by its minimalistic weight, typically being less than 68 gms/sqm. Today, it comes in varied forms, popular among which is the mulmul fabric. Light, easy to maintain, and especially comfortable, the mulmul cloth is recommended for almost any occasion and season. But what makes it a designer’s dream? Who better to answer this than Latha Puttanna herself?
“Flexible, versatile, and fashionable are a few words that aptly describe this textile. I love working with mulmul because I can create everything from dresses to skirts, trendy tops to stylish kurtas, without a second thought about its final look and appeal. It’s ideal for the summers, its unmatched in comfort, and it’s simply a delight to the eyes. What more can one ask for?”
Few fabrics come close to the splendid beauty mulmul offers. Latha has spun magic yet again with this unassuming, yet sterling fabric; and we are proud to present the all-new summer spring collection of 2017. Get ready to experience a new wave of freshness in color, design, and style. It’s your time to shine.
Join us at Rain Tree, Bangalore on 10th-11th March 2017 and at Leela Palace, Bangalore on 8th April to rekindle your love for the classics.
Revelling in Royal Grandeur
Royalty is enticing; more so, when we speak of queens and princesses. These iconic women are not just known for their striking beauty, but also for their unwavering spirit and inimitable charm. From Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi to Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, every queen has redefined what a woman stands for. And it would not be unfair to say that India has been home to some of the most stunning queens the world will ever see.
It is no wonder then that Latha Puttanna, just like many others, found inspiration in these women of substance. Through her artistic creations, she wanted to capture not just the beauty of royalty, but the spirit that comes with it. Her aim was to inspire women to break barriers and redefine beauty. ‘Aramana’, the designer’s latest collection of sarees does just that. With classic designs, colorful hues and intricate detailing, every creation in this collection is masterpiece, truly befitting royalty.
Take for instance the exclusive ‘Elizabeth’. Bold and dynamic, the saree brings together the beauty of checks and simple silk georgette into the weaves of the evergreen six yards. It is bordered by intricately hand-crafted appliqué work and a beautiful red embroidered panel. To complete the ensemble, Latha has paired this saree with a contrast and subtle gold butta blouse. Perfect for parties and casual evening wear, this is an attire that does not need much to accessorize it.
Latha Puttanna has always envisioned women to be sensitive, yet strong; calm, yet indomitable. Her works are an ode to the Indian woman who has made her way up the ladder with style, grace, and elegance. And this creation is just one among her wide range of collections. You can catch these exclusive designs at the Latha Puttanna exhibition, slated to be held at The Leela, Bangalore on the 9 th of December 2016.
Latha Puttanna is also proud to launch her online boutique with the mesmerizing Aramana Collection! Log on to www.lathaputtanna.com to take your pick! Experience royalty in all its glory!
The Motifs of Heritage
Turning back the pages of history to about 2,000 years ago, art and culture was quite different from what it is today. Artists, including painters, travelled long distances to showcase the many stories of Indian mythology to an enthralled audience. One particular art of freehand imagery that comes from the royal courts of Hyderabad became so popular that it won the hearts of many a Mughal emperor. These qualamkaris or artists used earthy colors from plant-extracted dyes to make paintings that depicted stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Over time, the art – that came to be called Kalamkari – explored renditions of nature and its many elements – including birds, animals, and flowers.
This essentially South-Indian art form is either hand-painted or made from block prints. Typically used in adorning kurtas, sarees and accessories, the use of Kalamakri has been limited hitherto. Here’s when Latha was inspired to experiment with the art in a way that has never been explored before. And the results are no less than stunning.
Latha incorporated this ethereal art into the elegant drapes of the lehenga – a popular attire from the north. This creation sports an elaborate skirt with alternating panels of pink Benarasi silk tissue and hand-painted Kalamkari work, embellished with a 10-inch border of intricate Zardosi embroidery. A subtle cream and gold front-zipped woven blouse and a beautiful earthy pink dupatta complete the ensemble. This ornate creation needs little to accessorize it and is perfect for occasion wear.
This showstopper comes from Latha Puttanna’s brand new collection of modern lehengas. Like most of her work, it boasts creations that stay true to the roots of Indian culture while being trendy and wearable by today’s fashion-conscious generation. Each piece in this collection is unique with unusual color combinations, exotic designs, and chic cuts. And these have been carefully hand-crafted to be worthy of a wardrobe of timeless creations.
A Royal Sense of Fashion
There is something truly enticing about royalty. The tales of victorious wars, stunning palaces, and luxurious lifestyles – every aspect is a story come alive. India’s association with kings and kingdoms has existed since time immemorial; but for a designer like Latha Puttanna what is most fascinating is the grace and elegance royal fashion prides itself on.
Speaking of style, the royal icons that head Latha’s list of favorites are Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur and Princess Niloufer of Hyderabad. Particularly impressed by the fashion of the Mysore royalty, Latha has successfully recreated the look with her latest collection of weaves, ‘Aramana’ — the designer’s first showcase at the prestigious Vogue Wedding Collection 2016 in New Delhi.
For the first time in 24 years, Latha indulges in the subtlety of pastel shades. Take for instance this alluring saree from the ‘Aramana’ collection – its soft mauve shade highlights and accentuates the complexion of the beautiful Indian woman. Crafted in georgette silk, the saree boasts woven gold polka dots on the pleats and intricate applique embroidery along its border. And completing the ensemble is a stylish, sleeveless blouse, sporting hand-beaten gold and silver embroidery.
This saree is among Latha’s most versatile creations. When paired with the right accessories, it can be worn for all kinds of occasions: from weddings and pujas to a casual evening with friends. After all, one doesn’t need much reason to look like a royal!