In Silver and Gold

In Silver and Gold

City designer Jhelum Rele designs a line of contemporary heirloom saris and more for her bridal collection

A few months ago,city-based designer Jhelum Rele received a call from her grandparents inviting her over to their home to see if she would like to take a pile of heirloom saris which belonged to her great grandmother. As Rele was busy with the preparation of her own wedding in November this year,she didn’t mind visiting her grandparents. As she spread out sari after sari from the pile,she felt proud of the heirloom and was instantly inspired to design a sari with the authenticity of the bygone era for her wedding too. This is also when the inception for her bridal line took place. “I was really surprised that in a family of a hundred people,the saris had no takers except for me. Words are not enough to describe how gorgeous these saris are. They are very heavy due to the embroidery in pure gold and silver. I wanted to reconstruct such glamour and grandeur in my bridal collection,” says Rele. The collection was launched on Saturday by actress Mugdha Godse,and is on display at her store Vismaya at ITI road,Aundh,till July 21.

Having used pure gold and silver threads for embroidery work on a range of ghagras and saris,she spent sleepless nights trying to replicate antique motifs and patterns. She also introduced extreme flair in her pieces. A black ghagra with embroidery of real silver threads and pink silk has a flair of 50 meters. “It took the karigar (worker) two months to finish the embroidery on this piece. No matter how much of embroidery he would finish doing,it would always be less. Since he was working with expensive silver,we kept asking him to be careful and not waste it. But only when the full piece was complete we realized how much embroidery was needed,” says Rele.

Another concept she is introducing in her collection is a change of the traditional colour palette for wedding wear. From conventional red,she has shifted to beige and peach,while the traditional red makes its presence felt only on the borders. “I have designed a range of saris in lighter colours which provide a different look,but keeps the glamour quotient up with embroidery and other work. I added a dash of red though,just to keep the tradition intact,” says Rele. The saris vary from the traditional wrap-around variety to the contemporary zip-up ones which are easy to wear for those who are not experts in managing the garment. She has also focused on designing trousseau saris for functions that are arranged before and after the wedding.

Rele’s collection also includes something for the relatives and friends who attend the wedding,from fun blouses with a range of ornamentation like 3D work,embroidery,applique work,hand painting,cut work and mirror work to funky reversible jackets which can be paired with anything,a sari or a casual pair of jeans.