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AIFW: Madhu Jain pays befitting tribute to Indian textiles

Textile conservationist Madhu Jain recreated her own glorious collection from the past as she commemorated 30 years in the fashion industry. Karan Bhardwaj spoke to the designer and her lovely showstoppers, Ruchitra Malhotra Makhni & Nayanika Chatterjee, in the video below


The collection celebrates three master-weaves and motifs developed by the designer, all of which are a glorious offering to India’s rich and diverse 2,000-year-old textiles tradition.

The first textile in this collection is a paean to the frescoes and murals of the temple paintings of Kerala’s Guruvayur temple complex, the intricacy of which have long fascinated Madhu. Her collection in cotton brings alive the depiction of Puranic themes with a vibrancy and wealth of detail that can come only from the stable of a seasoned design interventionist such as Madhu. She has incorporated the highly-stylised temple motifs with exquisite detail and a rare delicacy that are enhanced by the natural pigments and dyes used by her in rendering these outstanding works of art.


The second textile is the diametrical opposite: a deceptively simple Bamboo-Silk collection in undyed, luminescent ivory. To Madhu goes the credit for having introduced bamboo in India as a viable eco-friendly alternative textile. For the last 15 years her experiments with bamboo have finally yielded perfection, for which she has been fêted on several platforms. This Bamboo-Silk collection epitomises unfussy minimalism at its best. Unadorned, the weave here is king, as are the easy silhouettes.


Finally, the triad is completed with a Royal Venkatagiri collection from Andhra Pradesh that has been woven in the Jamdani tradition, where the designer has incorporated tribal motifs to thrilling exuberance. Madhu’s motifs are primarily designed around what she explains is, the “dance of the bulls, running in the wild, being one with nature.” This intricate and highly refined flat weave showcased by Madhu has the unique quality of being reversible, making it a winner.


Madhu Jain’s complex and varied collection in organic handloom cotton is held together by a high-on-drama classic colour palette that is nevertheless understated, and which hits all the right notes: ivory, gold, and black. A sublime balance of sensibilities, indeed.

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Founder, Born of Web

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