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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.
Recreating The Beauty Of India
India, the land of mystique, beauty, and diversity, is often kept alive through several exotic art forms. And Latha Puttanna does more than a splendid job at that.
Latha Puttanna’s fascination for ethnic Indian textiles and motifs started at a very young age. And over the last 24 years, her hobby has evolved into an internationally acclaimed fashion house. The brand today boasts a collection that weaves traditional and contemporary design into every creation.
Latha began by making a mark with exquisite designs in salwar-kurtas, especially the anarkali range. Her use of embellishments such as yokes, elaborate borders, and intricate embroidery gave every garment a look that the fashion-conscious vied for. One day, while drawing out a yoke from the pallu of a hand-woven Mangalgiri saree, Latha crafted a design that was both ethereal and elegant. A signature piece that has stood the test of time. It was a runaway success when launched in 2002 and continues to rule the popularity charts of fashionistas.
The creation was an elegant black blouse, stylized with a trendy matka back and beaten-gold border. It was paired with a deep-red saree to complete the ensemble. Style icons regarded the design well-suited to royalty. It was also often mistaken to be a recreation from a classic Ravi Varma painting. This stunning set became so popular that it had to be recreated on several occasions for many a client. FICCI & FLO requested Latha to gift the exclusive creation to Shobha De during a recent event on woman empowerment in Bangalore and Latha was more than happy to oblige.
Latha Puttanna is of the firm belief that trends in fashion are short-lived, easily replaceable, and recurrent. And it is for this reason that the designer prefers to expresses herself through classic renditions. Taking this ethos further is the brand’s new logo, mirroring the acclaimed designer’s strong connection to traditional weaves and designs, while celebrating its elegance and grace.
Latha Puttanna’s originality, sense of color, and love for all things Indian have redefined fashion, and reinstated the fact that traditional is the evergreen trend.