Over the millennia, the saree has not only become a sensuous, glamorous all-time-wear for women, but also the ‘canvas’ for weavers to create artistic embellishments! TLJ writer Divjot Kamboj shares the story behind Madhurya (In conversation with Bharathy Harish, Co-owner) This exclusive lifestyle and fashion brand based in South India (which is all set to expands its wings in North India) has been protecting the Indian traditional sarees- the six-yard tradition!
Tradition, beauty, colour, intricacy, exclusivity, purity and vibrancy- these are the elements that define every piece of master craftsmanship at Madhurya. What makes this outlet stand out is its strong connectivity to weavers based in remote villages (in a bid to promote the Indian handicrafts) particularly the weaving of traditional sarees.
“Sharing the beauty that our culture beholds was the inspiration behind the brand,” says Bharthy Harish, co-owner at Madhurya. Indians, we concur, are the most vibrant living beings! Every few miles you find a unique tang in the dialect and even costumes… And each state has a story when it comes to the traditional costumes. While most of us would easily relate to top fashion brands like Adidas, Nike,Puma….very few of us actually know the wide variety of sarees worn in our nation! This exactly was the reason of Madhurya’s inception. The outlet which began with the intent of preservation of traditional sarees, went on to promote several other art and craft forms.
Bright and Brilliant
How often do you hear the female in the family say – Oh! This does not fit me anymore? So now it’s time for you to know that Saree is the most intelligent garment of all times. No need for stitching. No fears if someday you weigh differently. The one prized addition that is needed in your wadrobe is a saree…. that is pure and it will have the same grace fifty years from now! “I still own my ancestor’s sarees. Some of these are as old as 80 years. It is a lineage that you pass on to your generations,” adds Bharthy.
In modern times the traditional handlooms have been replaced by power looms and consequently compromises are being made with the quality of fabric. “The weavers who have put their heart and soul in the fabric do not even realise that their existence is not known to the world. We attempted to bring hand-woven, hard-work of the weavers from distant states all under one roof,” she quips.
Saree and the States
India is literally a massive mine of sarees! All states produce unique sarees and each one is class apart. Bharthy, along with other creative minds behind this exclusive brand, ideated to pick up the best of each kind. What came as a result was Madhurya! “We have 15-20 distinctive genres of sarees picked up from the weavers across various states. The Kanchipuram saree from Tamil Nadu is made from pure mulberry silk. Uppada Saree from Andhra Pradesh is known for its softness and durability. Exquisitely simplicity yet refined is the Maheshwari Saree is best suited for summers.The Banarasi saree from Uttar Pradesh is a popular bridal robe in North-India. Madhya Pradesh is famous for producing the famous Chanderi saree. The handloom weaving of fine motif is the uniqueness of the Jamdani Saree from West Bengal. The Paithani saree of Maharashtra is the most beautiful silk sarees.
The Motif’s Tale
Have you ever questioned as to why do the motifs are of a peacock, lotus, elephant, parrot, swans and not of an auto-rickshaw, skull, tower or a map? “There was intelligence behind designing this,” says Bharthy . When you pick up a saree from your wardrobe, a glimpse at the elegant peacock, gigantic elephant and peaceful swan has an impact on your thought process. The delicately carved motif of Peacock is a bird with beauty and grace, the swan symbolizes discretion while the lotus signifies the complete blossoming of the individual potential. The secret is carrying a Saree uplifts your mood and gives you a look that is Rich and Royal.
The Innovation- Modern Motifs
Imagine cute little puppies, bunnies, elephants and kittens… and now think of a saree with such motifs- cute, unique and contemporary, a blend of the old merging with the new. “At one of the award shows Kangna Ranaut carried a blue Kanchipuram saree with the motif of puppies on it. Alia Bhatt, a Piscean true to her nature recently got a saree designed with the kittens embedded all over. Such a novelty is much needed to make this traditional attire reach out to the world,” she adds.
Instilling Values- Supporting the Girl Child Cause
“It is so important to instil in young children, the knowledge of the native art and culture. If every household in India chooses to collect these precious pieces of art, the creators of these art forms will also blossom. We not only support the weavers but also contribute towards the girl child education in India. We are on a mission of spreading happiness through this beautiful platform,” adds Bharthy.