Whether it is designer Zenobia S Davar of ZS Designs (www.zenobiadavar.com) or other designers, all have looked back to Gara. And so must you. Know why.
Embroideries are one such tradition that form an integral part of the definition of luxury in India. The myriad forms of embroideries in India are an abundant repository since every state and region boasts of its own style. It is not merely a means of ornamentation but stories of different communities, with motifs emerging from its natural surroundings, economic state and socio-political milieu.
Now these forgotten forms of luxury are being popularized. The designers in India as well as globally are looking back towards these techniques. Labels like Gucci, Valentino, Alberta Ferretti, Maison Margiela and Christian Dior work with the Mumbai-based embroidery firm Chanakya, while Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace and Michael Kors have collaborated with another firm, Adity Designs.
Gara embroidery is one of the traditional embroideries integral to the wardrobes of Parsi women and an amalgamation of influences from India, China, Persia and Europe; popular among Parsi brides with the intricate motifs on fabrics ranging from pagodas and dragons to roses, lotuses, roosters and peacocks in perilously close stitches, seamless shading, and the painstakingly small Chinese knots.
“I lose my sleep if I do not get it right. I rip open all the stitches if they aren’t perfect. I would spend my summer vacations helping an old Parsi lady in our colony with her embroidery work. It’s painting with a needle,” told Mumbai-based designer Zenobia S. Davar to DNA. An exquisitely embroidered six yards of fabric can cost as much as Rs 1 lakh and more.
“It’s fluid design and form is what makes it appealing,” said the Delhi-based designer Ashdeen Z. Lilaowala. Lilaowala even collaborated with textile label Ekaya in 2016 to create handwoven gara Banarasi silks.
These traditional embroideries are making a grand come back on the ramp and similarly in your closet. Get ready!