In its third edition, the Dastkar Design Fair pairs contemporary styles with traditional crafts — from kantha and ikats to seasoned wood and wicker. For some designers it is a first at the fair. While Shweta Gupta’s handwoven Chanderi and Kota cotton lehenga brings techniques of applique and hand embroidery together, designers at Karmantik have put together hand-crafted footwear. Their limited edition faux leather and fabric, which has been sourced from weavers, reaches the soul of India.
At READ India, collaboration between Pratham’s flagship programme, and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, wicker stools double up as storage, mats become chairs and salad forks are dressed with wicker handles. “We thought it would be interesting to bring together young designers and entrepreneurs working with craft and craftspeople who have grown, and come out with innovations. We provide the platform for design schools to interact with craftspeople so that they can test the market and feel confident of their products. Most of the exhibitors are NGOs, with a design background; we stay away from commercial designers,” says Laila Tyabji, Chairperson, Dastkar.
While Muzaffarnagar-based Gautam Swarup takes pride in his handmade, seasoned wood lamps and furniture, Anjali Rana has worked with craftspeople in Kashmir and Rajasthan for felt carpets, made from the finest Merino wool. There’s Poochki, a label by designers Ishanee and Anirudh who call themselves “textile wanderers, collecting memories and fabric”. They bring block printed textiles with hand-illustrated motifs of flora and fauna. Inspired by the crafts of hand knitting and leatherwork, Antidote fashions a unique range of lifestyle accessories. From upcycled accessories to silver and stone jewellery, from textiles to ceramics, with over 65 designers, the fair promises to pique one’s interest in the process of product making.
The fair is on till February 1 at Nature Bazaar, Kisan Haat, near Chhatarpur Metro station from11 am–7 pm