KHWAN – A Collection Inspired by the Beauty of Textiles From Laos
Khwan in Laos – a country with a great tradition of textiles – means soul. The word has been chosen to set the mood for their up-coming pre-festive collection which is inspired by the beauty of Laotion weaves and fabrics.
Dresses, kurtas and saris draw on the princely, ceremonial designs of classic Laotian fabric. Geometrical forms are highlighted with intricate beadwork. The beautiful ikat work that is a feature of Lao and South East Asia textiles is captured in prints that reflect the intricacy of the weave.
A variety of silks – tussar, chanderi and classic Bangalore – have been dyed in hues of red, aubergine and blue and then enhanced by a touch of gold or silver. They thus convey a sense of royalty and courtly life that goes with the pre-festive season.
Every season Shades of India explores a technique that forms the collection’s highlight. The previous focused on the intricacy of mukesh (silver metalembroidery originating from Lucknow). This pre-festive season they have added a further technique that draws on the eloquence of Japanese tie and dye as developed in Arashi Shibori. Meticulous and fascinating, Shibori is known to be one of the oldest indigo dyeing techniques with the potential to yield endless results.
This process of binding and scrunching a piece of fabric around a pole creates a recherché pattern of stripes which harmoniously suits the surface texture of the silks that they have worked upon. The fine embroidery in the upper half of the Makwai blouse has been elegantly complemented with the Arashi panel in the bottom creating a sense of balance in the play of patterns.
As we move closer to festivity, let us celebrate Khwan and everything that forms the soul of the beautiful clothes we wear.