Monday, May 11, 2009

Chennai Calling


It was Chennai calling this weekend. I was there to present the new design direction for the next season as the design head of a hip new brand.

My client’s office is in the busy t-nagar area so after work I headed out to the market. This is the karol bagh of the south, even more crowded, with shops galore of saris and jewellery mainly for wedding shoppers. Spilling on the streets are many pavement stalls selling colourful baubles, fruits, vegetables, toys and what not. probably the only place in the world where you will see women selling vegetables right outside a jewellery shop!

I bought some steel vessels, my mother told me they are good quality here. But I picked them only for their interesting shapes, the steel vessel shop is like a installation of sorts, think Subodh Gupta sculpture only a million times better, no hype and damn inexpensive!


The next day went to Dakshinchitra, a cultural centre about an hour away from the city. I had to study an old piece of appliqu├ęd textile for my temple textile project. I stand and stare at the piece and sketch it out to internalize it. Then make several rounds of the textile gallery which looks very neglected but has some brilliant pieces of original madras checks and Chettinad saris and unusual grass mats embellished with laces and zari embroidery. As I walk out of the gallery I think about how much we have in every region in the country and the urgent need of documenting it.
As I leave I pick up my favourite silk thread bangles and meet a woman who has just set out her gods for the day. We can’t converse as she speaks only in tamil. I cant resist taking a perfect postcard picture of her, even if it is with my camera phone!

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