Art breaks free from the usual canvas to hug the human form. A sari, an ornament or a blouse that is nothing else but wearable art...
Travelling with time
Abhisek Basak wants his creations to cast a magical spell. The reason he named his label of fashion bijouterie and accessories Absynthe Design. Crafted from intricate parts of antique watches and clocks, these one-of-a-kind ornaments are inspired by the belief that man could harmoniously co-exist with nature. Hence, the jewels assume shapes influenced by nature in a pronounced fashion.
For instance, a scorpion brooch constructed with parts of watches from the 1820s, beetle wings and crayfish shell claws, a spider brooch pieced together with precision from antique watch parts sourced from all over the world.
Dragon fly pendants, crafted with watch parts, pen nibs and handcrafted silver, sea horse brooches showcasing the mastery in design Absynthe is known for.
Each piece is a statement in quirk as well as elevated art. “A watch, the most fascinating invention of man, marries science, mechanism and art to measure something invisible and intangible.
Time is a concept and no other human creation strikes this balance with such precision. I wanted my creations to tell a unique story in a spellbinding form,” says Basak whose craft is applauded for smudging the lines between art and design.
Travel, trivia and more
Miniature autos jostle with cows of Nathdwara, while traffic lights blink. Consider this a contemporary take on ancient Pichwai in Saumi Nandy’s design palette. Adding funk to the lore of Shrinathji from Rajasthan’s serpentine lanes. “Art needs to be relevant to our times, in order there is intrigue about the original.
Hence, these fun motifs against the city skyline. Mingling the past with the present. The gullies of Nathdwara juxtaposed against our urban lives,” says Nandy, founder of Roong, a label using handblockprinting, batik and digital translations to craft saris inspired by travel tales, memories, nostalgia, art and more.
Introduced to the wondrous world of books by her father, Nandy sought refuge in her crayons when he passed away too young, leaving the seven-year-old to negotiate the emotional upheaval through painting.
The USP of Roong is the personal touch. “I design my own blocks. The way I incorporate either motifs of Patachitra art, Frida Kahlo, Calcutta’s yellow taxi, jalebi, crows or flowers in a saree will be my insignia.”
Be it the colours she saw in ice creams on her first visit to Delhi, motifs inspired by African tribal huts, every creation bears testimony to the creative acumen of the painter.
Roong is quirky. “We tell tales, invoke memories. Roong is for those who fancy an adventurous flight. Because, what is life without that!” Nandy quips.
Claying forms to life
Her clay jewellery could well be miniature sculptural installations. Be it Lord Shiva and his consort, Parvati perched delicately on the crescent moon, Maa Durga, Shrinathji of Nathdwara, Kathakali dancers or a bunch of beautiful flowers.
Hand molded in clay, helmed by a variety of materials, and attached with multihued strings to become medallion pendants, carry Aditi Chakraborty’s creative signature. Little sculptures around your neck that elevate your everyday get up.
Be it to tell a story, or discover an avenue to overcome a personal strife, every kind of art should leave an impression on the viewer’s mind. Chakraborty of Anki Bunki Aditi is driven by that notion. Crafting jewellery mainly out of clay, she also incorporates brass, wood, fabric and ceramic beads in her designs. “I paint my thoughts on them inspired by Indian architecture, Goddesses, nature or our heritage,” says Chakraborty.
In the series inspired by nostalgia, she created little telephones and radios on clay medallions. “Each one had a special story to tell. Stories of you, of me. This multi-dimensional 3D bijouterie brings all of them beautifully together,” she says.
Films, foibles and fashion
An aesthetic that transports one into an alternative imaginary existence is something that Agnik Ghosh wants to imbue in his handcrafted creations. “People have forgotten the ‘art of dressing up’ these days. The rustling of a grandma’s Benarasi sari, the kohl that aunts applied.
The aroma wafting from granddad’s giley kora panjabi, the rubescence of mom’s aalta with her gawrod sari...” reflects the young 2018 NIFT graduate whose foray into fashion happened when he desired to delve into fine arts in a wearable format. Agnik Kolkata is steeped in that nostalgia and Bengali charm.
For instance, in a recent creation titled Mayar Baadhon, Ghosh painted montages from Satyajit Ray’s film Apur Sansar on a sari and blouse. In order to familiarise viewers with the emotions rendered on screen through the medium of fashion.
The vocabulary of Agnik Kolkata borders on colourful whimsy. The key inspirations are from art, culture, spirituality, films, literature and fashion. “Our first collection, Padmapani, was inspired by the frescoes of Ajanta, which got reinterpreted as paintings and embroidery. Noti, was a unique experiment where we juxtaposed Noti Binodini, the famous yesteryear actress of Bengal Theatre against 1920s dark romantic European styles.” recalls Ghosh.
Abahon, last year’s festive edit was a take on Durga Puja in early 18th century Bengal.
“Bengal’s ethnicity (kantha, patachitra, jute crafts, terracotta and more) is juxtaposed with other concepts. We promote a unisexual clothing culture. Many of my male clients buy creations modelled on women; women buy apparel targeted towards men. Art smudging boundaries, right?” Ghosh signs off.