Assam designer to showcase traditional mekhela chador at LFW

Mumbai, Aug 25: The traditional Mekhela Chador of Assam will be the high point of designer Sanjukta Dutta's collection at the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week here.

Dutta, who has been experimenting with prints and draping patterns, will showcase the gorgeous sarong-half saree in an effort to make it relevant and attractive to the current generation. Her show is slated for August 28.

Mekhela chador shown at LFW

As part of her collection, Dutta will be presenting motifs, which are based on the theme of richness and cultural heritage that connects to the nature and reflects Assam.

The integrity and communal harmony alongside tranquillity of Assam will also be seamed into the design aesthetics. "When I started designing, I found that the mekhela chadors had become a bit repetitive in their designs.

They had the same 8" borders with small motifs in the field. So I decided to bring in new design sensibilities, while preserving the traditional designs from the region. I have kept several motifs that are seen on traditional textiles of the northeast intact as they are traditional, beautiful and hold symbolic meaning," says Dutta, who runs Sanjukta Studios.

"Further, over the past few decades, the outside world has come to know Assam as an area of strife, a direct reflection of which is seen through our tourism numbers and national media coverage. This has been another point that has pained me immensely because the Assam I know and we all know is not like that.

Thus, I decided to use this opportunity provided by Lakme Fashion Week to showcase the real Assam of true natural beauty, tranquillity, communal harmony and rich culture through my collection," she says.

A combination of the exquisiteness will be portrayed in Dutta's hand crafted fashion ensemble of Mekhela Chador. Given that it is similar to a sari in many ways except that it is a two-piece garment. It is composed of the 'Mekhela' that is the lower garment and the 'Chador' that is the upper garment.

The mekhela is pleated much like a sari except that the pleats face the right side. The chador is like a dupatta. It is draped after the mekhela is worn. While working with different colour combinations, designs and yarns, Dutta has designed different styles.

She works with 'Pat' that is mulberry silk, 'Muga', a very rare and high quality of silk, which is only found in Assam and is naturally golden in colour and 'Tussar', which has a rich beige-gold colour and lovely texture.

Mekhela chador has to go through several process before it is ready, It takes 45-50 days to weave one set and the colour and lustre brightens up with time.


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