Kasavu At Its Best : Rhythm Series by Lakshmi Menon


Rhythm Series By Lakshmi Menon is her Onam edit with this elegant handloom!

Onam is the special time of the year when the Kerala handloom takes centre stage along with the Pookalam (flower carpet), King Mahabali, Vallam kali (boat race) and Sadya which are all synonymous to the festival! Step into God’s own country and you will find men, women and children embracing different styles of the Kerala handloom. Ritz catches up with designers who have crafted their Onam edits with this elegant handloom!

Compiled by Riya Sonny Datson

Rhythm Series by Lakshmi Menon

Your inspiration to work on Kerala Saree?

The Kerala handloom is one of the most simple and yet, the most elegant Indian silhouettes! For the very same reason, I felt it was important to preserve the craft and the simplicity in the apparel.  I didn’t want to change the way the handloom is worn or alter it in anyway. But I felt a value add or an innovation is required to keep up the demand for this handloom.

Tell us about the main idea behind your collection:

After the Chendamangalam handloom crisis due to the floods last year, I felt it was important to preserve the original craft and identity of the handloom without pushing the weavers to do things differently.   So I have used the very same set mundu in my collection and given it a value add using embroidery. Since we have progressed so much technologically, I thought, ‘Why not innovate and use a technological input into the design of the handloom?’ The collection titled, ‘Rhythm series’ (a part of ‘Heartbeat of Handloom’ series, launched on August 7th 2019, celebrated as Handloom Day) translates sound waves into design motifs. The motifs are embroidered along the traditional kara (pattern) that is woven onto the handloom. I have also attached a QR code to the set mundu, which upon scanning decodes the sound wave. Recently, I had gifted a double mundu to Resul Pookutty that had the sound wave of his Oscar acceptance speech embroidered on to it. It was a pleasant surprise to watch his excitement and overwhelming response to the innovation. Holding the Mundu and the write up, he exclaimed that it was one of the best gifts he had received so far and that it was one of the best days of his life!

As a designer, what is the one thing that you love about your collection?

The fact that the ‘handloom can become an heirloom’.  I realised that when we add a technological innovation to it, it becomes an heirloom that can be preserved, making it all the more valuable! The Kerala handloom by itself is one of the most comfortable outfits to wear. The global appeal has to be created by preserving the originality of the fabric.

What according to you is the USP of the collection?

It is 100 percent handcrafted and it is the perfect blend of technology, aesthetics and a mastercraft.

Price range: Starting from INR 2500




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