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December 01, 2017

How Sangeeta Kilachand Couture Creates Treasures With Contemporary Flair

Text by Zaral Shah

“Her work brings a fresh yet deep perspective to traditional designs, seamlessly blending the old with the new…”

Though just three years old, Sangeeta Kilachand’s eponymous label has been noticed for its rich embroideries, in addition to the seamless merging of old-world charm and new age royalty that is evident in her designs. Her inspirations have mainly been women from royal families who embodied grace and panache, but there was no one thing that really played catalyst to the genesis of Sangeeta Kilachand Couture. “I’ve been collecting old textiles and embroideries for the last 30 years, and India has a huge resource in terms of our heritage; which is even today quite untapped into. I hail from an affluent family of Patan, where Patan Patolas have been produced for several years. Quite often, when I wore them, people would ask me where I’d got them from — so I thought, why not revive the old embroideries of Kutch and Bhuj.” Bringing them onto traditional, vegetable-dyed fabrics, the revival of these old embroideries and fabrics continues to be Kilachand’s primary objective. Jailakshmi Devi of Wadhwan says, “Sangeeta’s collection is beautifully embroidered, royal and elegant. Her creations have lovely flowing lines, are well-cut and are comfortable to wear.”

Her diverse work brings to life stories and art, through her intricate needlework and delicate silhouettes. An avid traveller, Kilachand has spent years researching the workings of the textile and design industry in India, devoting a substantial amount of time to creating ageless pieces of unmatched quality.

Recently, many erstwhile Indian royals were spotted donning her creations. “The outfits I wore had a Victorian touch to them, which I would never imagine would fit Indian sensibilities, but they were beautiful,” says Vedika Rana of Nepal. Krishna Kumari of Panna adds, “Her work brings a fresh yet deep perspective to traditional designs, seamlessly blending the old with the new to create a rich revival of the past.”

A lot of Kilachand’s work is created with marodi embroidery — where gold thread is handcrafted by the karigars. Seen most often on the , a signature style for the designer and the traditional attire in Kutch, marodi comes in lively hues and is a real treat to look at. “One can clearly see the talent, passion and effort she has put into her creations. Wearing her clothes was a great experience,” concludes Damini Kumari of Banswada.

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