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25.10.2016

Here’s a yarn of two cities. When Dastkar dynamo and sari maven Madhulika Choudhary launched the craft organisation’s Loom Tree label last year, boho-hobos – some bpb editors included – rejoiced at a cool addition to what we think of as low-key Lutyens chic.

It appears that we weren’t alone. In response to demand, a new line, Loom Tree Contemporary, unfurled its leaves last week. Better still, it hopped on the Yellow Line to go from its cute stall at Andheria Mode’s Nature Bazaar, home to all of Dastkar’s seasonal fairs, to rent a rack at Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. Say jhola, hombres!

Thimble Fingers

Loom Tree Contemporary branches off from Dastkar’s handlooms, using hand-work and craft on commercially available raw material instead. Its first collection in mill-produced cottons and chiffons now stocks at Ambience Mall’s multi-brand design store Iconic, while the more traditional Loom Tree Artisan line continues to sell from the brand’s permanent stall in Andheria Mode.

We’ve always liked Loom Tree for going beyond the use of Indian fabrics in Western silhouettes, and focusing on fine detail, smooth finishes and clever accents—something even behemoths like FabIndia have a hard time reckoning with. 

In response to demand, a new line, Loom Tree Contemporary, unfurled its leaves last week.

Its crafty new upgrade carries these advantages forward, and does some new, smart things. An ivory ‘Habita Electric’ dress plays a basic, almost child-like tunic silhouette off puffy sleeves with bold Navajo-style embroidery on elbows, neck and hem. We covet an utterly lush ‘Timura’ clutch that combines autumnal rust with a black-and-white, almost kilim-like base and fine beading technique.

O Broider, Where Art Thou?

Loom Tree Contemporary’s parentage is evident in the touches of phulkari, zardozi and kashida embroidery all over the collection. Its accents are everything Indian handloom is good at, from crafty patterns to patches from older weaves.

Madhulika tells us she wants to draw in younger consumers with this line. (Lutyens to DU?) But she also hopes to put the commercial fabric to work, she says, subsidizing the handloom that is her first love. What is it the communists used to say? Let a thousand flowers (b)loom.

Getting there: Iconic store, S-231-232, second floor, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon; or shop online at www.loomtree.com. Habita Electric dress for Rs 6,999.

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