The definition of a quintessential Indian saree has moved beyond traditional handlooms. Today, the market is full of easy-to-drape contemporary renditions, pieces that speak to discerning modern women. Think beautifully handpainted drapes, featuring a clash of prints and patterns, which are minimal yet traditional. From classic chiffons to handwoven Benarasis that are reimagined beyond the frame of occasion to textile hybrids, there are options galore. If you’re looking to explore new saree labels, then these brands may do the trick for you.
‘Wearable art’ is how one would describe sarees by Picchika, a Jaipur-based saree label launched by Urvashi Sethi. From hand-painted roses, peonies, flamingo flowers to grapes and rose apples, you can expect all kinds of botanical wonders on diaphanous organza sarees. The idea of Picchika as a brand stems from Jainism – to create something pious as the saints. There are also versions featuring minimal embroideries done using the traditional ‘Tamba’ Gota wire. Fans include Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.
If you are enamoured by traditions of Rajasthan, then Rukhmani summons everything via its modern designs. Delicate sarees in jewel tones and pastels featuring delicate motifs and intricate embroideries like vasli, lucknavi mukaish, and Kashmiri embroidery have come to define the brand. Launched in 1996, founder-sisters Sunita, Vineeta, and Bindu, did not receive any training in design but growing up in a traditional household helped them form a repository of inspirations and ideas. Named after their grandmother, the brand was featured in MF Husain’s celebrated film ‘Meenaxi’.
After graduating from NIFT, Bhubaneshwar, and launching her label in 2008, designer Lipsa Hembram wanted to take the Odisha legacy forward. Derived from the local Santhali language, the name of the brand stands for ‘to create something out of love’ and the same is evident in every creation. It has beautifully hand-painted drapes in striking hues of pinks, greys, powder blues, and blacks for anyone looking for an heirloom piece. Hembram’s vision to fuse crafts from different Indian region manifests in her sarees featuring Sambalpur ikat work, Pipli patchwork, and prints inspired by the famous bamboo work of Odisha.
Handcrafted, sustainable, and minimal – that’s how one would describe Peeli Dori’s wide spectrum of sarees (and ethnic wear), which have intrigued handloom enthusiasts and Gen-Z influencers alike. When Niharika Chaudhary launched her brand, her aim was to retain the beauty of Indian textiles albeit with a slight edge. Today, her beautiful sarees bridge the gap between occasion wear and daily wear; think intricate handlooms in red and gold, a blitzkrieg of hues, and whimsical motifs, embellishments, and patterns. Chaudhary’s idea through this label is not just to create a product but to give Indian craftsmen a work cycle in which they not only thrive but grow by familiarising themselves to new techniques.
You can never have enough of prints in your wardrobe and Prints by Radhika gives you more reasons to invest in them. Based in Jaipur, you can choose from a wide range of florals, botanical prints, and graphics like polkas. For designer Radhika Rawat, saree, kaftans, and dresses have become a canvas to express herself.
All images: Courtesy Instagram