Ritu Kumar reinvents Chheent for Swedish cosmetic major

New Delhi: Leading fashion designer Ritu Kumar has used "chheent" patterns, an age-old light colourful print used on handwoven cloth, to design an exclusive range of accessories for Swedish cosmetic major Oriflame.

Ritu, who earlier revived dying embroideries like zardosi and other traditional Indian needlecraft, has now used the calico print style to create handbags, stoles and wallets for the direct-selling company, with the range expected to hit stores in September this year.

"What has been really nice with the association is that we have designed the products with the two best colours - vegetable pink and olives in black and beige. The pattern that we have chosen is one of the older `chheents` of the country. So in a way it`s a historic revival of prints," Ritu Kumar said

The now dying chheent, originally hails from the Punjab region specifically Multan (now in Pakistan) and is a word for design. Including light and colourful pastel prints of flowers, birds and creepers on handwoven cotton, the chheent become paisley and chintz to western world.

Meanwhile, stoles and handbags designed by Ritu are available in black and beige base with olive and pink floral and bird prints.

"We are very proud to be associated with India`s foremost designer Ritu Kumar to present an exclusive collection of beautiful handbags, stoles and wallets. The intricate patterns and designs of the collection represent the modernity and complexity of the Oriflame woman," Niklas Frisk, Managing Director Oriflame India, said.

The designer, also unveiled a limited range of the prints under her signature label with models like Indrani Dasgupta, Sonalika Sahai, Tina Chatwal and Dionna Masih draped in European vintage as well as traditional Indian outfits showcasing the latest collection of range of stoles handbags and wallets in a show held here recently.

"I choose these clothes because everyone has seen a modern collection but this type which I am showcasing is unique because all the work done on these clothes are handmade and it has both modern and vintage touch which is very nostalgic," Ritu said.

The veteran designer said she will be presenting a new collection of clothes influenced by the mountain ranges at upcoming fashion weeks like India Bridal Week in Mumbai.

"I have been asked to do Textile Day finale and I am finally concentrating on the textiles of the mountain region. So, have included a lot of Ahmisa Silk textiles and other textile from the mountains" Ritu said.
The designer has also penning a second book on textiles, that is expected to be launched next year.

"I am planning a book to be released late next year. It's a textile travelogue of this country. This book is taking time because I am writing it between things and it requires a lot of research and travel all my travel plans for it is pending," Ritu said.


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