Saturday, December 12, 2015


Fashion Trends for 2016 India are going to be dictated by the youth who is a traveler , an entrepreneur , who is connected with her roots but exposed to the latest technical advancements and yet in a way leads a robotic lifestyle. She is the kind who is also open to experiments but knows the difference between absurdity and trendy !

No wonder fashion has to suit her lifestyle and experiences ! Keeping that in view , the cuts this year are going to be very straight , simple and stylish which have the ease and comfort of wearing. The traveler carries experiences and cultures from her travels so the look has some element of ethnic cultural influence but in a very chic stylish way!

With storage spaces becoming rare and managing multitasking lives even more difficult , the pieces are going to be such that they can be mixed and matched with different combinations to give a totally new look each time you adorn them.

We at Indie Cotton Route have created our new line which suits this Woman of Today !
Watch out for this space for our new collection COMING SOON !

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Looks Do Matter !

Have you ever been to a parlour and seen a lady dressed only in a robe and tried guessing what she does for a living or what kind of a person she is ? She kind of appears sans any character but the moment she is dressed in her normal clothes , it is as if a character has come alive ! You have already woven a story about her in seconds scanning her from top to bottom , about what kind of a person she is , what profession she is in , if she is rich and flamboyant , vain or an intellectual !

Isn't that interesting ? Do clothes and the way we dress up talk so much that isn't it ironical that we are more exposed to others with clothes than without ?
Would you be willing to put your trust in a guy wearing Pyjamas to fly a plane ? But the moment he is dressed in a Uniform ( might be a costume dress ) our mind is programmed to think that the guy is capable of delivering . Whoever thinks that taking care to dress up is a vain thing is just kidding himself ! A shabbily dressed man is totally judged to be shabby in his work too. Do think about this . You might not be getting the kind of job opportunities you think you deserve just because you have not been able to package yourself in the right wrapping paper !

And then there is the case of overdressing . This person is flashing brands from every pore of his body ! From a Christian  Dior goggles , jimmy choo shoes , Mk bag , latest I phone , diamond jewellery , the works ! The only thing not on display to their dismay is the price tag ! Such people are screaming (not literally though) from the top of their voices , Look I am not confident about what my style is but I am wearing what is  'The accepted.' They are saying , take me seriously because I am rich ! And I must say that this does work for most of them , they are speaking the truth !

And then there are also people who  defy all laws of nature and Mahatma Gandhi is one such person . He never looked like the Man who changed the destiny of India but then you have to be a Man or woman of extraordinary greatness to reach the levels 'Where Looks don't matter' !
Till then , for us Mortals 'Looks do matter' !:)

Monday, August 17, 2015

All that Glitters is Gold !

Gold has fascinated the human race ever since it's discovery. Homer , in the 'Illiad' and 'Odyssey' mentions gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans. No wonder that gold thread be used in creating garments which look Royal and Grand.

Gold embroidery was developed in Asia and has been used for at least 2000 years. It's use reached a remarkable level of skill in the middle ages when a style called Opus Anglicanum was developed in England and was used extensively in the Church decoratives. After this period it was used frequently on clothing and furnishings of the Royalty and Nobility.

Turquoise georgette kurta with Tilla/gold thread embroidery.

In India 'Tilla' or Gold thread embroidery can be traced back to the times when it was done by Jingarhs or the people who made horses reigns decorating them with Tilla embroidery. They also produced decorative banners for kings and Maharajas. Then later they got involved in making badges and emblems not only for the princely states but also the British army.

A black georgette kurta with Gold tilla and thread embroidery.

Tilla embroidery is used for decorating Juttis in Punjab. You can see beautiful gold thread embroidery on the shawls and Phirans of Kashmir !

A gold coloured kurta with gold thread embroidery on a black patti.

Thus the Love for Gold never grows old !

Friday, August 14, 2015

Celebrating 69 years of Independence !

It is hot and humid inside the DDA office , an authority on Delhi Development ,works as slow as the the fan hanging above ! They work like the Delhi roads which are perpetually dug up which never get repaired but 'Work is always in Progress'.
We are looking for a Mr. Omprakash who is hiding behind mountains of files , looking extremely busy. Now to get across to Mr. Omprakash , we really have to do Om ka Jaap because everything else doesn't seem to work ! And no one dare annoy Mr. Om because he is the Almighty here !

Well , well , we have completed 69 years of independence , the magic number of compatibility , but actually far from it ! We complain , we crib but in the end , Please someone like Mr. Omprakash ?

This Independence Day , let us be true to our Flag !

The Saffron represents Strength and courage: have the strength and the courage to ask for clean drinking water , safe environment , goods roads , good garbage disposal and good governance !

The white represents peace : respect each one and their religion as all religions preach peace and not terrorism !

The green represents growth : Grow yourself to be an example for others!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Chiffons , means Sensual !

It's raining cats and dogs outside but at home it is raining hot tea and pakodas ! Sipping my tea , enjoying the peacocks dance through my glass door , this is what I call luxury ! Time , is the most precious thing in life and how ironical , the so called richest people have the least of it !

A red floral chiffon kurta with dori embroidery.

In this wet and humid weather , you want the comfort of a light weight fabric which also dries very quickly and one such option is a 'mixed chiffon' fabric. Chiffon comes from the French word which means a cloth or rag. Chiffon was initially made from silk thread but after the introduction of polyester in 1958 , the polyester varieties of chiffon became very popular due to its durability and  economical viability.

A green printed chiffon kaftan.

Chiffon is a difficult fabric to work with because of it's slippery texture but has excellent drapability and its transparency gives the garment a touch of feminity. It is one fabric which can make you look slim without clinging to your body. It also gives the garment a very rich look.

A sunflower printed chiffon kurta with needle & thread hand embroidery on neck and sleeves.

One Indian actress who made Chiffon sarees and suits very popular was Sridevi in Chandni , Mr. India etc . She looked sensual in her songs wearing chiffons !
Chiffons come in plain colours , floral prints and ombre dyed too.

A printed chiffon dress.

It is best to hand wash chiffons in cold water .
So girls , charm your men with your mixed chiffon fabrics because its raining outside and you can have some activity at home !

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Phulkari , Garden of Flowers

This lady was sitting among hundreds of brightly coloured phulkari dupattas as if sitting in a garden full of flowers . She had a stall in Dilli Haat and had come from Patiala to sell these Phulkari dupattas hand embroidered by young girls from Punjab.

Phulkari literally means phul which means flower and kari means work. Phulkari played a very important role in a girl's life for her trousseau and festivals. It was not meant for sale and the completion of a phulkari dupatta represented the girl becoming a woman and she would then be ready for marriage. The embroideries were a reflection of their lives and thoughts. The motifs were inspired by their surroundings and each girl had her own way of expressing them. What an interesting way to let go of your emotions and making a beautiful creation as a by product ? The modern ways of letting go are quite the opposite ! I wonder sometimes have we actually progressed ?
Not much is known about how phulkari work started but it has been mentioned in the Punjabi folklore of Heer Ranjha . Generally the colours are bright and red, orange , yellow and pink are some of the favourite colours .

A phulkari is worn by the bride when she walks around the sacred fire , the first time when she goes out after giving birth to a child , important festivals and also when the woman dies she is covered with a phulkari.

I was so keen on getting phulkari work done on my fabrics that I handed over a lot of fabric to the lady from Patiala but I never heard from her after that. To this day whenever I go to Dilli Haat , my eyes wander looking for the lady sitting in a garden of Flowers.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bagh Prints , the ancient legacy !

I first met Umar Faruk Khatri in the Surajkund Mela which happens every year in the first week of February in Faridabad . This award winner printer belongs to the  Muslim Khatri tribe which migrated to the village of Bagh in Madhya Pradesh in 1962 from Sind.

A haldi colured bagh printed skirt /lehnga with gota embroidery.

The beautiful vegetable dyed prints in red , yellow , green , indigo , white , maroon , pink immediately attracted me to them. On touching them , they felt so soft that I could not let go of them.
Umar , then explained the tedious process of printing which involved soaking the fabric overnight and then soaking it in a paste of raw salt , goat droppings , castor oil and water. The fabric is then dried on a piece of rock in layers and is then ready for printing. After the hand block printing , the fabric is dried and kept aside for a week. Finally the cloth is washed in running water , dried again and mixed with Dhawadi flowers . Once dry the fabric is ready for use. Though the colours used are vegetable dyes , these bagh prints rarely bleed. This is one cotton fabric which I have personally worn and washed a hundred times and it has looked as fresh as ever with no fading whatsoever.

I sometimes wonder , how in the world did they discover , invent this form of printing ? How did it occur to them to use goat droppings and other such ingredients to create such soft and durable prints ? It must have taken generations to improve their methods and finally come to this which worked fabulously. Wouldn't you want to be a part of this ancient legacy ?

I am so much in love with this fabric that I end up buying a whole bunch of these fabrics which was now a task of carrying them back with me but I was not complaining :)

My shopping extravaganza !
 A green coloured bgh printed kurta with tilla and thread embroidery.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kutch embroidered yokes , tales of history woven into them !

One couple from the 'Rabari tribe' from the Kutch of Gujarat visits me sometimes when they travel to Delhi. This couple with Character written all over their faces come in their native dress which is a black backless choli and skirt for the woman and a dhoti kurta for the man with the turban ! They come with their bag of goodies of exquisitely embroidered yokes which is like a treasure to me !
The older the embroidery , the more intricate and beautiful it is !

A kutch hand embroidered yoke on a silk kurta

These embroideries are not just pieces of Art but they have tales woven in them. A closer look at them and you can see the skill and the patience with which these threads are woven into each other to make complex designs. In the cities if we people could develop even one hundredth of that patience lives would be much simpler. I wonder if that was one of the reasons why Gandhiji insisted on everybody to churn the wheel of the charakha ? To be behind the wheel of a fancy car is the only wheel ,  city people fancy and that too with little patience ! The beauty , colours and the complexity of the designs are just a glimpse into their beautiful minds which can conjure up these !

A kutch hand embroidered yoke on raw silk kurta .

The myth about their origin is that they were put on earth by Lord Shiva to tend to the camels owned by Parvati. These tribes are mostly spread across Gujarat and Rajasthan and said to have travelled from Afganistan.
A hand embroidered yoke with mirrors on a matka silk kurta.
A hand embroidered yoke on a blue spun pleated kurta
Each time you wear any of these creations think of them not just as embroidered yokes but the emotions and desires of the people woven into them , they carry history with them !

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Applique embroidery !

Applique , is a French word which means to join or attach . Applique is a surface type of embroidery where a piece of cloth is stitched on to another larger cloth in the form of some pattern. It's early use was to strengthen worn out areas or serve as a patch over holes but soon developed into a creative form and used by many cultures .

An applique kurta with Ikkat fabric used for applique:
The Ralli quilts from Sindh , Pakistan and western India were made from recycled and hand dyed cloth had very intricate and complex patterns. These designs were not written down but passed down for centries from mother to daughter. These Ralli applique quilts have gained much popularity and exhibited in several US museums.
In the US the Amish are a group of traditional Christian church people who have still not adopted the modern way of living make beautiful applique quilts .

A white kurta inspired by applique embroidery :
Applique became very popular in the mid 1800's by fashionable ladies !

The ancient Egyptians used applique in their garments. During the middle ages Applique was used in ceremonial garments . In the 18th and 19th century it was part of the decoration on national festival costumes and ethnic folk dress.

Cut out flowers appliqued on to a tunic along with mirrors.
The Poodle skirt , was a felt skirt with Poodle applique which became a rage in the US among teenager girls in the 50's. In the 1960's the Hippies or the flower children customized their apparel with Appliques. Many fashion designers like Moschino , Gianni Versace have used applique in their lines .
A kaftan with gold lotus applique embroidery :
Closer to home in Barmer , Rajasthan, applique is used to make kurta designs , cushions , bedcovers and quilts . It is an art form which can be adapted to suit and depict different cultures !  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Palazzo Pants !

Palazzo Pants , have been a rage since quite sometime ! They flare out evenly from the waist till the ankle and and ideal for the Indian weather. They are loose yet flattering to the female body. No wonder they have replaced the salwars and the churidaars and look trendy as well!

After the world war 1 , in the roarings 20's as they were called a wave of prosperity and optimism spread in the US when women also starting entering the work force. The concept of 'Power Dressing' found it's way as women wanted to be taken seriously at work and dressing up manly in trousers conveyed just that !
It was around this time that Coco Chanel , the fashion icon , went to Venice and discovered the wide legged pants which gave the ease of alighting the Gondolas ! Indeed , need is the mother of invention :) Thus Palazzos were born ! Coco made the palazzos rise , to drop down the tight fitting Corsets literally and figuratively, liberating the woman ! These became the new Style Statement with the Hollywood stars donning them in between the shots.

2015 is the year of Change and Diverse Cultures ! With the ease of communication and travel , Fashion has it's influence from all over , it's a concoction of various cultures . It is what you create out of your influences , comfort and individuality. That's YOUR STYLE STATEMENT !!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When will it be a WOMAN'S WORLD ?

It's a man's world ! Will there ever be a Woman's world ? Even a Dog has his day ! Will the Woman have her Day too ? I wonder when we shall not have to be a Wonder Women to survive in this world ?
In this fast , modern , so called equal e world have you heard of even 1 % of horror men stories as compared to women's ? Due to this discrimination Women have not been able to find their comfort zone when they can be true to themselves . Either they are Feminists , rebel the system , climb the ladder of success on a vengeance as if they have a point to prove or they just settle to the way the system perceives them. Most of the time they don't even realize they have compromised to the system because we have not seen any other way ! Just look aroumd yourself and look at yourself !

1. Who will have to quit the job to bring up children , You because while growing up it is not wired into the man's system. He will have to compromise on his Manlihood if he has to quit , Really Manlihood is more fragile than a woman's hymen , it breaks so easily!

2. Who will be responsible for food in the house ? Either the woman or the maid ( not a very wise option , she can never feed you with the love of a parent and then parents complain of having a tough time with parenting . Even a dog becomes a slave of the person who feeds him. The way to your child's heart is through his stomach . Children always remember the good stuff their mother used to cook for them throughout their lives). Time for men to make a place in their child's heart !

3. It has become extremely unfair for the woman of today . She is educated enough to want to have a multidimensional personality but still has a house to run single handedly . Where is the man who vowed to support her in worse and or in better ?

4. It is the woman who leaves her house to adjust to all in her husbands family , to look after them . How many give that support to her family ? If the man talks to them nicely and respects them, is a big high for the woman ! Is that fair ?

Well , you have seen it like that and you believe that is the norm but who made these norms ?
What do you think is the reason for this plight ? Because woman is alone , there is no unity , no support from other women. She has rivals , competeters , dominaters but rarely supporters !
We women can change that ! WOW is one such group who has integrated women where women are trying to support each other. It will be tough , we are not used to it but let's give it a try .

Our collection of sarees and blouses is an Ode to the changing Women of today . She who is feminine , independent , powerful , friendly and a True Human Being . That is what being a Woman is !

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Colour White , the purity of Soul !

Hi friends ,

Let's think about Fashion ! Can you see colour ? You do I am sure :)) because Indian Fashion means a lot of colour ! But today we are going to talk about 'White' which means achromatic which literally means no colour !
Colours like whites , creams have times immemorial represented peace , purity , simplicity. Be it Mahatama Gandhi or Mother Teresa who rose to the epitome of purity chose to drape themselves in white. Taj Mahal a symbol of pure love stands tall in white marble.
When all colours come together we get white , the colour of light ! Nature understands this so well but sometimes we need to remind ourselves too.
So we bring to you our collection inspired by whites and creams . In our collection we have used self woven cottons & georgettes in creams and whites which have been styled such to retain the aura of the fabric but added a little colour for an air of royalty.

A georgette kurta with yellow brocade and light gold lace.

A georgette kurta with pink brocade and gold lace,
A self cotton kurta with machine chikan yoke , brocade n lace edgings.
A self cotton kurta with a pink chikan embroidery yoke , brocade and lace edgings.

A self cotton kurta with machine chikan phulkari , brocade and lace edgings.

This white/cream collection has been greatly bought and appreciated by friends in India and abroad !


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Muslin , Fabric of the summer !

It's been a busy and an exciting day today . A couple of inspiring meetings and the excitement of working on my new collection. It is hot summer , so Muslin is the fabric which comes to the rescue. A sensual fabric because of its sheer effect and good drapability .

  1. Our new collection is a layered Muslin kurta which celebrates the Mughal era with embellishments of the Mughal boota in thread and sequins. It is styled simply to suit the present day workability yet royal in soul. A picture of the traditional Mughal boota :
  • We have also used cream Muslin to create an outfit which is an Indian Anarkali but inspired by the Polish culture for it's embroidered jacket. The polish outfit is shown below:
  • Below is the outfit inspired by the polish culture :
  • This is an embroidered jacket with a floral pattern celebrating Polish culture and spring !
A cushion in cream inspired by the same motifs !