The Warp and the Weft – Bina Rao
One of Hyderabad’s ace designers, Bina Rao, mesmerized audiences with her Sustainable Fashion collection at the Lakme Fashion Week this year. She also presented a special session on Sustainability, Fashion and Textiles at LFW. Models sashayed down the runway presenting six different looks, representing her special textile technique in modern silhouettes for summer.
RITZ caught up with the Creative Bee who adeptly weaves contemporary style with traditional handlooms in an endeavour to create eco-friendly fashion.
Armed with a Masters in Fine Arts from MSU, Vadodara and a Textile Design course from NID, Bina Rao stormed into the world of couture with her distinctly unique style.“Soon after my marriage with Kesav Rao, we settled down in Hyderabad. The artist turned designer in me found Andhra Pradesh a very exciting place. I have specialised in Handloom and weaving became my passion,” says Bina adding, “Hyderabad as a city wasn’t conducive for a professional designer and artist, so we had to create our own platform as a base, to start the work. That is when Creative Bee Design Studio was born.”
Under the umbrella of Creative Bee, Beena and Kesav provided consultancy to export houses, showrooms and government projects. “This gave me an opportunity to travel across the country and explore the entire Indian Handloom spectrum and after almost half a decade we decided to plunge into R&D production at Creative Bee. My husband, who had established himself as an artist by then, helped me create the necessary infrastructure. It took almost a decade for us to surface as a Design & Production company and start marketing on all the three fronts – bulk sale of customised designs to big business houses, export and retail,’ shares the designer.
In the early 2000s, when handmade and natural dyes were not popular, Creative Bee pioneered eco-friendly and sustainable fashion. Bina and Keshav formulated a well-researched methodology of imparting training to weavers, dyers and printers to upgrade their skills in techniques such as Ikat, Hand painted Kalamkari, Block prints, Uppada in order to produce high quality, contemporary, 100% handmade and sustainable textiles.
Bina reveals that her USP is her texture in weaves which are produced from traditional techniques and combined with original print designs in high quality natural dye to arrive at an Indo-western look. She has spun umpteen creations and all are dear to her heart but the ‘Jalebi design’ is her all-time favourite, which was created by her two decades ago!
Today, Bina’s Creative Bee has large exports to Japan, USA and countries in Europe while some stores in the US also sell their products. Creative Bee has a foundation for helping artisans develop quality craft products from wood, metal and fibre for various lifestyle stores. “I get my inspiration from nature mostly, as designers we have to train our eyes and mind to transform any unique form, texture, impression into an original design concept. For example, two of my recent designs which became very successful and were well appreciated at the LFW were inspired from ‘Buttons’ and ‘Barbed wire fence’,” reveals the designer proudly.