Spent your childhood (and a large part of your adult life, smokers) collecting different kinds of matchboxes? So did Bombay girl Sneh Nihalani. Of course she went on to put them all on a sari titled Risky Rani. Catching fire?
Named after her love for radio (and having worked in radio, advertising, script and dialogue writing all her life) Sneh Nihalani is the eponymous Radio Rani. Designer behind the quirky kitschy brand of saris that feature trucks, the Buddha and even an animated Draupadi, Sneh tells us about how designing, always a passion, became a necessity after she “married a South Indian. Just imagine how many weddings I have to attend on a day to day basis!” The usual Kanjeevarams left her stumped, “so I decided to print my own saris."
Always a storyteller, Sneh decided to spin some yarns with her saris as well. One upcoming design is called Raja Rani, and has “the world’s shortest story (Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani Dono Marr Gaye Khatam Kahani) printed onto the pallu.” Another design titled Monsoon Rani will feature peacock motifs, and a third will feature the Ladies Special in a Mumbai Local. Keep track.
Sneh's current range carries five saris – Peace Rani that bears an illustrated motif of the Buddha with lotus designs in bright orange and fuchsia patterns; Night Rani with multi-coloured owls and bird prints; and Temple Rani that carries a three-headed deity. Our favourite is Maha Rani, where an illustration of Draupadi on the front meet shlokas by Krishna on the fall.
Though she plans to diversify into other materials, currently Sneh is taking it slow, and accepting made-to-order requests for saris in mull cotton and cotton silk only. She ships globally with a minimum delivery time of three weeks .
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