Craftmark brought the versatile Kota Doriya collection by Karishma Shahani Khan to Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018
Mumbai, 23rd August, 2018: The CRAFTMARK show by the All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA) was an innovative presentation of Kota Doriya textiles at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018. Anjali Bhatnagar, Manager-Enterprise Support Program, and Marketing, said, “CRAFTMARK is very happy to return to Lakmé Fashion Week this year to showcase another of our members, Kota Women Weavers, who are traditional weavers of the exquisite and delicate craft of Kota Doriya! These rural handloom weavers celebrate their hand-woven fabric every day by continuing to practice their tradition. Their presence and participation in the Sustainable Fashion Day represent recognition of their skills at the national level. The young women weavers taking part in the show are entrepreneurial and aspirational, and we hope they will gain a lot from the Show and from their collaboration with Ka- Sha, the designer!”
Here’s a glimpse of Ka-sha’s collaborative line with The Kota Women Weavers Organisation (KWWO) that marries multiple contrasting characteristics. Presented by Craftmark. #LFWwf18 #5DaysofFashion #MakeFashionGood pic.twitter.com/GNSB8DvkkZ
— Lakmé Fashion Week (@LakmeFashionWk) August 23, 2018
AIACA licenses the CRAFTMARK logo for Craft based businesses and NGOs as product tickets and labels. The CRAFTMARK certification informs a customer that the product has been responsibly and ethically made to produce a sustainable income in a fair-trade environment, which also ensures proper health and hygiene of the artisans. Craftmark has brought under its umbrella more than 150 crafts enterprises practicing about 90 specialized handicrafts processes, with an outreach to more than 50,000 artisans across 23 states of India. Collaboration between Lakmé Fashion Week and Craftmark for market linkages and promotion of sustainable artisan clusters in the fashion industry is focused on creating collaboration between Kota textile weavers (Rajasthan) and Karishma Shahani Khan.
The Kota Women Weavers – Empowering women
Kaithun, a small town on the outskirts of Kota in southern Rajasthan, is home to the renowned fabric of Kota Doria. This fine fabric made of a blend of silk and cotton has a unique check-like pattern. The Kota Women Weavers (KWW) is a registered society of more than 1,000 women weavers belonging to the Ansari community and is operational since 2005. These women primarily work on pit looms located in their houses to weave intricate patterns in silk and cotton. AIACA works in Kota with the mission of enabling KWW to access greater market share and profit through the facilitation of business support, skills up-gradation, design innovation and effective organization management. The goal is to ensure a sustained and dignified livelihood for the rural women handloom weavers, as well as the continuation of this unique craft. The process of making Kota Doriya starts with bleaching, dyeing and starching fine counts of yarns. Eight threads of silk and six threads of cotton are placed alternately in warp and weft to form the check pattern locally called khat. The width of the entire fabric is about 48 inches, containing about 300 khats. The designs are plotted on a graph and later transferred on a harness known as jaala, which is a series of strings suspended on a beam that help in developing intricate motifs along with the khats. These motifs are created using small bobbins or Tillis of zari or dyed silk yarn.
Ms. Shahanaz, Weaver, Kota Women Weavers
Shahanaz, a Kota Doriya weaver from the Ansari Muslim Weaver community has been weaving for the past 13 years. Shahanaz was working as a wage earner for a master weaver who used to provide her with designs and raw materials to weave into products for a daily minimum wage, which did not help her financially. With support from CRAFTMARK Shahanaz got new marketing opportunities and made the most of it, selling her own products at various national exhibition platforms, online stores, big retailers, etc. Today she takes pride in her work and feels rewarded for her efforts.
Ms. Shahin, Weaver, Kota Women Weavers
Shahin, from the Ansari Muslim Weaver Community, teaches in a primary school in Kaithun and weaving for the past 20 years as her income is very crucial for her family’s sustenance. Shahin underwent various design intervention and product development workshops organized by CRAFTMARK and got new marketing opportunities. Today she sells her products at various markets and is an independent woman who is able to educate her daughter.
Karishma Shahani Khan – Versatile fashion directions
The sheer quality of the Kota Doriya fabric was a great inspiration for Karishma Shahani Khan for her label ‘Ka-Sha’. So, there was extensive layering for the garments, at times in contrasting forms. The inherent checked pattern of Kota Doriya was explored creatively by Karishma and brought to its ultimate fashion peak with clever detailing.
Moving away from the conventional ramp display, Karishma turned the venue into a mini-museum where the installations of around 20 looks revealed models who posed encased in muslin cubicles with floral patterns drawn and positive quotes written on the fabric. The presence of the weavers of the fabrics was an interactive experience and gave the display a personal touch.
While the handwoven checked and polka patterns of the fabrics were eye-catching, Karishma incorporated some hand embroidered fabric flowers, thread work, and beaded tassels to highlight the beauty of the textiles, while sequin and zari added a touch of bling. Shades of deep green, grey, bright red and mustard were the prime colors for the collection that had a profusion of organic and floral geometry. The layered Kota Doriya fabrics were given noticeable volume and structured creatively with panels and over-lapping to present arresting silhouettes.
Patchwork was one of the additional detailing options that were given to the garments. The silhouettes of the ‘Ka-Sha’ label have always been comfort-oriented; so, the layers flowed away from the bodies of the models but in a feminine, fluid manner. Karishma also experimented with the concept of reversible options and multiple lives for each garment. Therefore, her collection offered numerous possible uses both from inside and outside.
An attention-grabbing look was the ruffle and zari bordered blue sari with a layered, ruffled-sleeved, muted red wrap-around blouse. At the end of the installation, the fluid dress layered with a dupatta and coat stood out because of its bright peach-colored zari-checked fabric; while the white jacket embroidered with colorful floral embroidery added to it was a great finale offering. Lovers of craft rejoiced when designer Karishma Shahani Khan for her label ‘Ka-Sha’ presented the beauty of India’s traditional Kota Doriya in a stylish form with CRAFTMARK.