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.