Sari aficionados led by Kerala doc promote Chendamangalam in US

Chendamangalam in US
By adding colour and patterns the Kerala saris have been made more versatile for a global audience. From left to right Deepa Menon, Chino Mannikarottu, Neema Nair. Photo: Anish Kumar

Dr. Chino Mannikarottu of Scripps memorial hospital, San Diego, USA, has always been enthusiastic about India's classic apparel, sari. This time she mixes her passion with a social cause by promoting Chendamangalam fabrics for a photoshoot.

The weavers of Chendamangalam in Kochi, already pummelled by the 2018 deluge, got no respite even after months of efforts and their fate hung in balance as business showed no sign of recovery following the juggernaut of novel coronavirus and the pandemic-induced lockdown that ensued.

(L to R) Suja Jayan, Salu John, Gowri Rajagopalan

Having the designs of the saris in a new verve Chino says, "My aim was for a modern approach to Kerala saris by adding colour and patterns and thus to make it more versatile for a global audience, instead of the typical off-white and gold."

Chino says that the idea was to introduce handloom saris as an occasion or party-wear or office wear rather than just festive apparel.

The saris were sourced from Rouka a house of handloom fabrics by designer Sreejith Jeevan in Kochi that works directly with Chendamangalam weaving units.

Apart from Chino Mannikarottu, Neema Nair, Suja Jayan, Salu John, Deepa Menon and Gowri Rajagopal participated in the photoshoot maneuvered by Anish Kumar.

The saris were paired with designer blouses and accessories for a modern, western flare.

According to Chino, a global market and acceptance would make the weavers' craft and skill more visible.

Photos: Anish Kumar

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