Prerna - The Inspiration
Inspiration comes from life experiences, relationships, traditional practices, culture, food, nature, encompassing every aspect of our being. Our Prathaa story has evolved from exploring and working with weavers and artisans all over India – Bengal and Kutch being the highlight, until now. This Festive Collection, Prerna is inspired by the traditional silhouettes of these two clusters, with the Prathaa Signature contemporary twist, created in their own home fabrics – Jamdani, Ajrakh and Kala Cotton.
Ajrakh - Handblock Jamdani Fabric
Team Prathaa invests a lot of time and learning towards research and development of the canvas on which we create our designs – the Fabrics. This comes from immense respect and pride we take in the rich treasures that lie in every corner of our nation in the form of skill, creativity, passion, history, culture with distinct diversity in creation and technique.
Traditions of Kutch Traditions of Kutch
Since it’s inception, Prathaa has been on a journey to explore new clusters and their work, predominantly in Kutch and Bengal. Both States have Cultures and Traditions that are awe-inspiring and extraordinary.
It is truly an honor to work and witness the abundant Art and Culture of these two regions. Our little gesture of expressing love and gratitude towards them along with the immense pride in the work they do, is expressed in our latest Collection, Prerna – the inspiration . Yes it is completely inspired by them, their lifestyle , culture and history.
‘Prerna’ is a Hindi/Sanskrit word which means Inspiration.
Like the name of the collection, every design has a symbolic and significant connection to the Traditional garments.
Textiles native to Kutch such as Ajrakh and Kala Cotton and Jamdani, originating from Bengal have been used to make the garments. Hand-Embroidery has also been used to enhance the detailing and uniqueness of the styles.
THE ORIGIN: Jamdani is an art of textile weaving popularly known as Dhakai Jamdani or simply Dhakai. It has its roots in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Jamdani weaving flourished in the Mughal period, in India.
THE ART: The intricateness of the motifs is the beauty and uniqueness of this textile. It considered as one of the finest varieties of Muslin cotton.
THE PROCESS: The Handloom weaving process of Jamdani is labor intensive and time consuming. The pattern is not sketched or outlined on the fabric, but drawn on a graph paper and placed underneath the fabric.
THE TECHNIQUE: In addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together, a supplementary weft is added separately by hand. The standard weft creates a fine, sheer fabric while the supplementary weft with thicker threads adds the intricate motifs to the fabric.
Jamdani Weaving Jamdani Dyeing
Design Inspiration: The traditional Bengali Vintage feel reflects very well in all aspects of their lifestyle – from monuments to cuisine to relationships and of course their attire . Sarees have been pre-dominant historically and the unique bengali drape is something that gives a complete distinctive look to enhance the grace, of a woman.
A still from the Satyajit Ray movie 'Charulata' A still from Satyajit Ray movie 'Devi'
Blouses are inseparable when we visualize saree styling and for our collection, Prerna – the inspiration , Team Prathaa has done a detailed research of the style elements in the traditional blouses as worn by historical personalities, women in Tagore’s novels and also made popular in Satyajit Ray movies. Our expertise comes in presenting these traditional touches to you, by keeping the nuances of the design elements in mind and giving it a subtle contemporary twist .
Pleats and Frills have been noted as ruling the Bengali traditional styles and we have taken inspiration from the same and launched blouses in Jamdani, narrating the Bangla story in the contemporary language -
The “Ghoti Haata” Blouse : Traditional Bengali Blouse is synonymous with “Ghoti Haata”.
The "Nodi" Blouse :
The "Nodi" blouse is as fluid and versatile as the river water flowing across terrains and geographies. The subtle dramatic double layer frills on the sleeves enhance the fluid look. The color and silhouette are versatile enough to be teamed with any color saree.
Our research on traditional styles of Bengal highlight frills and pleats as an essential part of traditional Bengali attire.
The Prathaa "Nodi" blouse is made out of the classic, breathable handloom Jamdani weave which dates back to the Mughal period.
The "Holud" Blouse :
The Prathaa "Holud" Jamdani Blouse celebrates everything auspicious this festive season. Holud is healing.
Pleating is a significant element, prominent in traditional designs of Bengal. In our attempt towards merging the traditional with contemporary, Prathaa presents this smart and chic jamdani sleeveless blouse with pleats at the hem. The Peter Pan collar adds on the oomph factor to tradition and also gives it a semi-formal twist . The blouse can also be worn as a crop top.
The fabric used is Jamdani. The Handloom weaving process of Jamdani is labour intensive and time consuming. The motif is not sketched or outlined on the fabric, but drawn on a graph paper and placed underneath the fabric.
THE ORIGIN: Ajrak is a form of Hand-block Art that is indigenous to Gujarat and Rajasthan, in India.Its origin can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization.
THE ART: The traditional art of Ajrak displays geometric designs and intricate patterns.The effort and skill is evidently visible in this craft. The traditional process used to obtain Ajrak is the same even today.
THE PROCESS: The making of Ajrak is a complex process and has 21 stages.The fabric is first destarched and mordanted. It is block printed with resist pastes and then treated with natural dyes repeatedly. The entire process can take 2 weeks to accomplish.
THE TECHNIQUE: Wooden blocks are used achieve a different color and uniformity of motifs.The natural dyes are extracted from the surrounding. They are substances like Indigo, Harde powder, pomegranate seeds, madder and others.
The traditional Gujarat dressing includes kediyu or kurta on the top and dhoti or chorno at the bottom. A kediyu is frock type kurta with frills, worn in Kutch. It is also referred to as Angrakhu.
Ghagra Choli or Chaniya Choli – The traditional attire of Gujarati women is Chaniya Choli or Ghagra Choli. Women also wear an Odhni (dupatta or chunni) with it.
Chaniyo – The Chaniyo or lehengas is a coloured petticoat or skirt-like garment worn by the women. The Chaniyo is designed with mirrors and thread work.
Choli – The women wear Polku or Choli on the top. It is an embroidered short blouse.
They may also wear Kurtas instead of choli known as Zhabo and lehenga along with it.
Saree is also commonly worn in Gujarat. The pallu is worn over the shoulder and rests on the front.
Grey Ajrakh Full Sleeves Blouse :
Inspired by the Rabari Choli blouses, this blouse re-lives tradition of Kutch in a contemporary style.Here is a blouse created in Kutch’s very own Ajrakh fabric. There is harmony created with the Ajrakh handblock print of traditional paisley with contemporary checks in a chic silhouette.
The blouse has a maroon checks yoke and navy blue handloom piping with front opening. It can also be worn with the Reversible skirt from this collection.
Black and Indigo Ajrakh Print Flare Dress:
Enjoy the fluidity of Kali's and fall of the fabric with a flirtatious twirl in this knee length Ajrakh dress. This is inspired by the Kali's seen in traditional garments of Gujarat like Ghagra/ Lehenga. A contemporary twist to the traditionally prevalent designs of Kutch in their home developed fabrics - Ajrakh and Kala Cotton.
The knee length dress has a maroon kala cotton yoke with very subtle Ajrakh piping on the neckline. The three-quarter sleeve is pleated and has an Ajrakh cuff with closure for detailing.
Beige and Grey Ajrakh Print Spaghetti Maxi Dress:
The fluidity and fall of the dress is beautifully enhanced with Kali's and also the handloom mul Ajrakh fabric used for it. The lightweight breathable mul automatically adds to the comfort and graceful fall of this dress.
The maxi dress has detailing of handwork done on the Indigo Kala cotton yoke with pin tucks and hand embroidery.