Timeless, versatile textiles is the way forward

Due to the pandemic, the current fashion conversation is focused on sustainability and zero wastage, and textile designer Tanira Sethi Dang is leading the way by encouraging buyers to switch from the traditional linear model — shop, wear and dispose — to a more sustainable one, by designing timeless pieces which will stand the test of times.

She is working on offering drapes which will be passed down generations and would become family heirlooms. These saris or unstitched fabrics are “versatile” pieces of art, which “can be draped in myriad ways”. “You can team it with leather tights or blouses, wear it like a toga or kaftan and belt it up,” says Tanira about her collection, “I am working on new artworks that can be used for saris, or as textile art that can be framed and hung on walls or be used as attractive rug designs.”

One look at the label, Taani by Tanira Sethi, and you realise it has its virtues. Handwoven, these drapes are manifested in her signature style of infusing fabrics, and producing zero to minimal waste during production. Even this line showcases geometric designs, and a confident experiment with textiles, artwork and techniques. “I focus on unstitched garments so there is minimal to zero waste. There is no scrap during garment construction and if by chance there is, it is used for sampling. If we want to check how indigo dyes on Cashmere lace, we use the scrap to do so, so there is no wastage,” says Tanira, an alumna of Chelsea College of Arts, London. During lockdown, she is optimising the use of knowledge she acquired doing several short-term courses while pursuing her full-time course at Chelsea.

Her latest line of drapes is a liberal use of arts and new elements expressed through the language of figurative painting. The upcoming collections would be Cashmere and silk saris – that’s the maximum she will reveal about it.

The lockdown has given her ample time to play with techniques and textiles. “I have used this time to hone my skills. Right now, there is no deadline or rush, so I can take a week to create an artwork. I am also trying to develop a certain skill set to improve and experiment with my existing knowledge base to create newer, fresher designs and artworks,” shares Tanira, who hope to launch her collection by winters, if the production starts timely.

Meanwhile, Tanira, who belongs to a family of doctors, is utilising her artistic vision to support Covid testing drives that her family of frontline Covid warriors is running. “I don’t want to talk much about it because that’s the least you can do for society in times like these,” says a humble Tanira, who designed graphics for the drive.

She is also beating the lockdown blues by watching a lot of videos. Like all of us, she does “watch workout videos everyday”, and like many of us doesn’t put “those to practice”. She laughs, “I see videos everyday but hardly end up doing it.” But she did manage to carry out a successful de-clutter drive, “watching Marie Kondo videos”.

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