Taika by Poonam Bhagat
Slice of Samarkand & Bite of Bokara
The Summer Spring 2013 collection from Taika by Poonam Bhagat is inspired by the vivid and enriching world of Central Asian Suzanis specifically from the regions of Samarkand , Bukhara , Tashkent and Shar-i-Sabz . Suzanis are vibrantly embroidered fabrics which were traditionally handcrafted by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry and were presented to the groom on the wedding day. Often used as a canopy over their heads during the ceremony. It derives its name from the Persian word ‘ Suzan” which means needle. Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, tulips, carnations, and irises.
This inspiration led to one cohesive colorful story on the ramp. Swirling , twirling , whirling kaleidoscope of fluid ensembles both contemporary and classic , yet edgy . Short dresses , jumpsuits and long flowing robes are part of the silhouettes. Dramatic reds , blacks , ivories and emeralds dance together in appliquéd and embroidered forms.
The Slice of Samarkand & Bite of Bokara collection is currently in stores and is available at Samsaara (Delhi & Mumbai), AZA (Delhi & Mumbai), Evoluzione (Delhi & Mumbai), Kimaya (Delhi, Mumbai & Surat). Elan, Elahe, Collage and Ensemble apart from many other locations.
Hair accessories designed by Yvonne Alexandridou. Paperjewelz by Vrinda Gokhale.
The same theme has been carried forward the costumes exclusively designed for Opera Lafayette’s staged production of Felicien David’s “Lallah Roukh” to be performed at the Kennedy Centre , Washington DC and The Lincoln Centre , New York on 26th and 31st January 2013.
It is a charming story of Aurangzeb’s daughter on how she sets out on a journey from Delhi to Bactria ( as it was known in the 1800 ) to marry the Prince of Samarkand , but falls in love with a poet while passing through the enchanting valley of Kashmir.
Lallah Roukh was first written as four narrative poems by Thomas Moore in 1817 and later staged in operatic form by Gaspare Spontini (1821) , Felicien David (1862) , Antonio Rubinstein ( 1863) , Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1879).
Opera Lafayette presented a graceful and witty production of Félicien David’s “Lalla Roukh” at the Rose Theater in The Lincoln Centre , New York and EisenhowerTheatre at The Kennedy Centre ,Washington DC earlier this year . This opéra-comique set in Mughal India had fallen into oblivion since its wildly successful premiere in 1862, well ahead of the wave of other French operas like Bizet’s “Pêcheurs de Perles,” Delibes’s “Lakmé” or Meyerbeer’s “Africaine.”
David’s lush and inventive score, which frames a story set on the road from Delhi to Samarkand, was considered his masterpiece and held the Paris stage for twenty years after its debut in 1862. Opera Lafayette’s revival features a collaboration withKalanidhi Dance which will bring a ravishing visual element to the ballets that accompany this opera’s captivating melodies and elaborate ensembles. The production is directed byBernard Deletré, with lighting by Colin K. Bills
” While Lalla Roukh’s burgundy and gold costume is a predictable one, given the assumption of finery for a princess, the garments worn by the Kuchipudi dancers display Bhagat’s design dexterity. The arresting colour palette and beautifully proportionate embroidery and appliqué used with thoughtful restraint breathe authenticity—both of the designer’s own signature and of the slice of history she translates” – Mint Lounge and WSJ
Image credit: Louis Forget
Taika by Poonam Bhagat
Abstract Expressionistic Art
In the first seven decades of the 20th century , American Art came of age with a native style called Abstract Expressionism, a revolutionary approach that put the U.S. for the very first time in the vanguard of art and New York City at the center of the western art world , a role formerly filled by Paris. It was a genre of Modern Art that used improvised techniques to generate highly abstract forms. This is the seed from which the Autumn Winter 2010 collection from Taika by Poonam Bhagat took root.
Teal , aubergine , emerald and coffee combined with the quintessential black to form web like graphic patterns laboriously appliquéd on egg white. Hot pinks and burnt oranges flowed seamlessly into wood , as did aqua , on a black tapestry that transformed into cocoons , tulips and sheaths .
Fluid abstract patch worked designs formed the backdrop for rope like mesh of threads entwined in organza , winding their way in a drunken fashion across the board. An electrifying blue burst out of a grid like design defying jersey strips that tried very hard to contain the splash of color . In others , a hot pink remained , quietly but effectively dormant peeping through black jersey lines that criss-crossed on a coffee and milk base like electrical wires on a circuit board. Silks and linens flirted with jersey to create lines that are edgy and dramatic . The look is purely western and playful with exaggerated collars , winged shoulders , asymmetrical necklines , cowls and hoods. Not a single garment is printed or painted.
TAIKA , established 1991 , means “magic” in Finnish.
Stringent quality control and emphasis on styling , color coordination and impeccable embroidery techniques have helped us create a niche for ourselves, sustain it and grow from strength to strength.
The look is that of understated elegance. Ensembles that do not cry out loud but ,softly yet surely make their presence felt.
TAIKA covers the entire gamut of women’s prêt-a porter from western to fusion to Indian silhouettes. Churidar-kurtas, tunics and sarees form the matrix of our Indian designs. Lehngas are far and few between and only made to order .
Western wear encompasses all that is considered western ! But we have a special fondness for skirts in every conceivable form. Wrap, billowing, gathered, balloon, cocoon, sheath, tube, layered. From just below the thigh to just above the ankle ! Handpainted, appliqued, embroidered and textured in myriad hues .
Quilted jackets are our strongest point. In vivid silks, contrasting or monochromatic with intricate quilting in abstract designs. Various silhouettes and lengths vie with each other ,all coming up tops. Very dramatic abstract patchwork appliquéd and then quilted over are also very popular.
Fabrics used are natural pure fibres and usually handwoven.India is a veritable treasure trove of textiles so why not dip into it and pull out the best? Tawny tussars, matka silks, khadi, gossamer chanderis, crisp cottons, linens and raw silks are used to create a rich and fine tapestry.
Pure georgettes , chiffons and crepe-de-chines are dip dyed for those who prefer a more flowing and ethereal look. Machine and hand embroideries are often combined to produce an old antique burnished gold look. We also use a lot of surface textures like pleating, tucking, blanket stitching, dori work etc. We do our own printing as well which is again combined cleverly with minimal or discreet embroideries .Colors are vibrant, but not jarring and the palette changes from season to season , sticking to tones that suit the Indian skin. Mints, leaf greens, limes, lemons, peaches , watermelons, cucumber greens dominate spring giving way to ivories, ecrus, whites and broken whites, bouncing back to rusts, oranges, yellows , aquas in autumn and going deeply passionate in the winter where we find purples, egg plants, burgundies, claret reds, midnight blues and indigos making their appearances.
TAIKA sells across the country from more than 20 designer boutiques including Aza , Ensemble , Melange, Elahe , Evoluzione, 85 Lansdowne , Elan , Ogaan , Mogra , Amethyst , Collage Chennai, Collage Bangalore and Ffolio among others . We supply online through PerniasPopUpShop, Carma Online, Aza Online and Ogaan Online among others.
Poonam Bhagat is on the board of Governors of the Fashion Design Council of India , the Apex body for promoting the business of fashion .