People who say classic Indian weaving techniques are dead must not have gotten the memo: An Indian fashion revolution is underway, and old-meets-new textile goddess Neeru Kumar is leading the charge. Singlehandedly reviving many long forgotten, traditional Indian weaving techniques, Kumar is fast becoming our textile hero.
With their spontaneous use of color, angular modern lines and a subtle nod to the past, Neeru Kumar textiles put a powerful contemporary spin on traditional Indian weaving. Aside from the elegance of a Neeru Kumar design, it’s the luscious, hand woven texture of her fabrics that really brings her contemporary lines to life. Her variations on techniques such as kantha (a traditional practice of stitching embroidery on layered old saree fabric) and khadi (a method of hand spinning and hand weaving fabric) give each Neeru Kumar look distinct, eclectic flair. Neeru Kumar has taken these traditional, often rural techniques, infused them with modern styling, and shared them with the world on international runways.
With such an artful aesthetic, it’s hard to choose Neeru Kumar’s standout looks, but these three gorgeous styles from Neeru’s recent runway collections exemplify the designer’s fashion forward side: A luscious watermelon-colored wrap with a sleek, block weaving pattern, paired with a chic, cropped black jacket that adds the perfect hint of luster; this structured separates look featuring a skirt and shawl with sophisticated draping work, a classic silk blouse and a surprising copper and deep yellow color pairing; and this beige and red patterned stunner that has been captivating us ever since we saw it hit the runway in Neeru’s Fall 2011 show. What do all three looks have in common? A contemporary design aesthetic that’s a perfect canvas for her runway-ready, breathtakingly detailed textiles.
We’re equally enthralled with Neeru Kumar’s takes on Western fashion. We love how she mixes hard and soft by pairing this chic neutral tone sweater’s subtle diamond patterning with sleek black skinny leg pants and casual shoes. The sweater’s super-wide sleeves and exaggerated cowl neck revamp the classic turtleneck into a stunning sweater that’s completely at home on the runway.
Just about any traditional technique Neeru touches is infused with her signature brand of chic. Luxemi can’t wait to see what classic Indian technique she weaves into contemporary fashion next.