Celebrity fashion stylist Ami Patel, who styled Athiya Shetty and her mother Mana Shetty in Madhurya’s handloom silks at the former’s recent wedding, says that “the evolving taste for handloom weaves amongst star celebrities is the best fashion statement today”, as it supporte Indian weavers.
Visual and print media have both been incessantly running stories on the panorama of fashion — accessories and traditional saris — showcased by Athiya during her wedding (23 January) with cricketer KL Rahul. The wedding festivities had the beautiful bride in a multitude of fashionable drapes and jewellery.
Does this set you thinking if these celebrity brides choose their trousseau themselves or do they all require a professional like Ami to guide them?
About Ami Patel
Early in her career, Ami was associated with Elle India as an art director and was a fashion director of a magazine. She finally emerged as a celebrity fashion stylist, styling showbiz’s bigwigs like Priyanka Chopra, Alia Bhatt, and Madhuri Dixit.
Ami’s personal style is all about basic, clean, and comfortable dressing. But with more than 15 years in the industry, she looks beyond her own tastes when dealing with celebs and stars.
“As any stylist would do, I look for wider perspectives to see that my styling suggestions work for the customer — be it a bride, model, or public presenter. When it comes to brides, I customize it to each one’s requirements. In the fashion world, I generally try breaking the gender boundaries, making them more spontaneous and unstructured,” explains Ami.
“Another movement that is trending is the evolving taste for handloom weaves, as people consider it fashionable. I am glad to be associated with it as it helps support Indian weavers,” Ami told South First.
Her choice of Kanjeevaram and Gadwal saris for bride Athiya and her mother — from designer label Madhurya Creations in South Bangalore — has etched an explicit mark with admiring fans on social media.
Be it textile and fabric detailing for special occasions, or the handloom weave where the silk sari trousseau collection is an infinite spread of assorted regional detailing painstakingly created by legacy weavers, numerous brands are making a beeline to grab the wedding party’s attention.
“Stars are bestowed with choices galore,” notes Ami Patel.
Bringing handloom back
India is the global capital of different styles of handweaving but only when celebrities and stars choose to wear them will most of these weaves get any attention, says Ami.
We see our country in the midst of a handloom movement, she says and adds, “Stylists like me have been constantly updating ourselves on the sea of availability in handloom silks, which are weaves of permanence for brides.”
So what were the factors that went into choosing silks for Athiya, we wonder.
“We just loved the fact that the sari was just a plain cold tissue without any motifs, with a young vibe to it, and we liked the pink block along,” says Ami, adding that it was the specialty of the weave that made all the difference.
“Athiya’s sari is a gold tissue Kanjeevaram with a delicate fuchsia pink border. It brings in a block pallu that lends a bold and beautiful contrast,” explains Bharathy Harish of Madhurya Creations, who designed the simple sari based on Ami’s specifications.
Bharathy then got the sari weaved from one of their Kanjeevaram weavers in Tamil Nadu, one among the 1,080 weavers on Madhurya’s list who regularly supplies custom-made orders.
“Mana Shetty wore a traditional white Gadwal, with a red and orange border. The zari checks add to its grace. It was a touching moment to see the picture of mother and daughter together in Madhurya saris,” Bharathy told South First.
All about the saris
“The saris were worn for the Muhurtham ceremony, perfect drapes in sync with the south Indian customs, rituals, and music — integral to the traditional ambience,” says Ami, adding that stars and celebrities are definitely embracing weaves today.
“Seeing the beauty of the weave and the fact that they want to promote these weaves for posterity is something the entire industry and mankind appreciates, as they carry messages of wisdom. Adding them to your trousseau is the best one can do to embrace a dying tradition,” she says.
“Our boutique Madhurya Creations has had star celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, Kangana Ranaut, Samantha Akkineni, and Kajal Aggarwal, amongst others, who have worn our speciality weaves,” says Bharathy.
Actor Kangana Ranaut certainly has a way with Kanjeevaram saris. She was among the first Indian actors to wear a Kanjeevaram, incidentally from Madhurya Creations, to the 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival in the French Riviera in 2019.
Ami, Kangana’s stylist as well, says that the actor “loves the idea of promoting Indian weaves”. Kangana was also draped in an orange and black Kanjeevaram sari from Madhurya at a promotional event for her film Thalaivi.
About Madhurya Creations
Madhurya, a revival boutique for heritage weaves, is more than a decade old. The label works with weavers from Kanchipuram, Uppada, Paithan, Chanderi, Maheshwar, Banaras, Kota, Phulia and several other parts of the country, where speciality weaves emerge.
Uppada, Kanjeevaram, Banarasi, and Jamdani sarees are something that Madhurya is keen to promote. While reviving the traditional designs that prevailed in each weave, Madhurya also wants to cater to the current trends, in terms of color palettes and motifs.
“We would like to shine the spotlight on the deeper meaning behind the traditional motifs that were used, so that the sentiment they represent goes beyond just the design. We have shared some of these meanings on our Instagram page as well,” says Bharathy.
(This article was published in “South First” e-magazine on Sunday, 5th February 2023.)