My longtime friend and well known craft revivalist and textile conservationist Madhu Jain, is a designer who has chosen to stay away from the glamour, hype and page 3 whirl of the fashion world. She has instead opted to promote indigenous forms of textile weaving and designs. On the 25 of this month, she unveiled a breathtakingly beautiful collection drenched in the vibrant new hues of an Uzbek-inspired Ikat repotoire, and alongside also showcased a retrospective of her signature Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Ikat styles into which she has infused the Buddhist Mandala design inputs from the textile traditions of Thailand.
Over the years I have been fortunate to see her working with her weavers and artisans and sometimes travelled with her in her quest to search for authentic craft traditions. Truly Madhu’s forte lies in developing textiles in distinctive combinations of two different weaving traditions to create new textiles, high on quality and design leading to a stunning blending that is her unique speciality, making her a forerunner in the indigenous traditional weaves industry. In her 29-year career, Madhu has experimented and evolved in so many ways and this time she takes her craft and skills to Uzbekistan as she brings in their ikats into her design repertoire. The result is something no lover of traditional craft and textile can afford not have in their wardrobe.
The fresh endeavour has been complement by a fresh face – that of the vivacious and beautiful Atisha Pratap Singh who is the daughter of none other than minister of skill development Rajiv Pratap Rudy and his pretty golfer wife Neelam. Atisha is now the face of Madhu’s Spring-Summer line. The lovely youngster and the rich beauty of the textiles honed by Madhu’s designer skills made it an enviable collection that each one of the illustrious gathering who showed up would love to boast of in their wardrobe.