A Re­vival STORY

This 45-year-old store in the city has been ded­i­cat­edly con­vert­ing heir­loom sa­rees into wear­able pieces of de­sign.

India Today - - FEATURE - _ By Prachi Sibal

For 45 years now, a sim­ple old bun­ga­low in Vic­to­ria Lay­out has been one of the best kept se­crets in town and the seat of hand­loom re­vival like no other. Es­tab­lished by the Late Chimmy Nan­jappa in 1974, Vi­mor now sees the in­volve­ment of her grand­chil­dren. Once the an­tique sa­ree busi­ness ran out of pieces, the family de­cided to ven­ture into re­vival sa­rees. Walk into the store with an heir­loom sa­ree and Pavithra Mud­daya, 58, Nan­jappa's daugh­ter and a self-taught de­signer, will trans­late those mem­o­ries into a wear­able piece for you. The re­vival hap­pens in stages, based on whether you want an ex­act replica or an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the orig­i­nal, the fab­ric you choose and the num­ber of pieces you are look­ing to own.

The tiny sin­gle room shop stacked with sa­rees in old wood and glass cab­i­nets has been wit­ness to the who's who of the coun­try and be­yond. A peek into the guest books re­veals re­cent vis­its by singer Shubha Mud­gal and de­signer Wendell Rodricks, among oth­ers. Reg­u­lars in­clude ac­tor Ratna Pathak Shah and the Gandhi family, known to have worn these sa­rees for gen­er­a­tions. In here, it isn't just about buy­ing a sa­ree but a crash course on the dif­fer­ent weaves, craft and an in­sight into the life of weavers in the re­gions down South. "We have built a repos­i­tory of sorts over the years. At first I would learn about the styles, mo­tifs and terms from the weavers, now I teach it back to them in a more prac­ti­cal way. Over years, we proudly say that each of the weavers we have as­so­ci­ated with is now big­ger than us. They of­ten come to see us in their lux­ury cars", says Mud­daya.

While re­vival sa­rees may be Vi­mor's strong point, there is a lot more on of­fer here, in­clud­ing a new se­ries crafted in Ra­jasthan us­ing the tra­di­tional rug de­sign of the re­gion. "I took the rug de­signs and set the loom to cre­ate sa­rees us­ing those pat­terns. Each sa­ree takes a weaver a month to cre­ate", she ex­plains. Ra­jasthan's tra­di­tional gota work has seen a new form by mak­ing its way into weaves in­stead of be­ing em­broi­dered. Other than that, there are lungi sa­rees, those with the Kar­nataka em­blem Gand­aberunda, and one where a weaver trans­lated his ex­pe­ri­ences in a town onto yarn pep­pered with mo­tifs of tra­di­tional car­riages and he­li­copters. It is these lit­tle sur­prises and the tales be­hind them, un­like any other sa­ree re­tailer that make a visit to Vi­mor spe­cial.

AT Vi­mor, 49 (new#28) Vic­to­ria Lay­out, 3rd Cross TEL 9886739291

PRICE Rs 900 on­wards

We have built a repos­i­tory over the years. At first, I would learn about the styles, mo­tifs and terms from the weavers, now I teach it to them.

Pavithra Mud­daya of Vi­mor

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