Fashion designer Sanjana Jon plans to display handloom documentary items at Oscar

Sanjana Jon speaks at the International Innovators Forum at the Fight for Social Justice and Human Rights in Malibu, California. Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty/AFP/File

Thiruvananthapuram: New York-based fashion designer and movie maker Sanjana Jon on Saturday visited the traditional handloom weavers at Balaramapuram near here as part of the shooting of a documentary.

Jon plans to style celebrities in the upcoming Oscar event in March with the handloom materials from Balaramapuram, thus giving the traditional industry a boost.

She said the documentary will be an anecdote of the history of the arrival of handlooms, its connection with the Royal Family of Travancore, the lost glory behind it.

"These experienced craftsmen should not be let for exploitations of any sort. They must be duly recognized and equally be rewarded, for the smooth continued growth of the industry, for the very survival of this great art," she said in a release.

Jon said her role was to enlighten the weavers to design and produce materials attractive and acceptable through traditional handloom weaving and how to ensure new, global markets.

She said specially designed handloom woven materials will be showcased during the Oscar event.

"As representatives from many countries arrive at Oscar, this will give natural visibility, acceptance and markets in these countries as well. Traditional weavers working for 50-70 years deserve better recognition for their craftsmanship. Though very renowned, conventional handloom dhoti, saree etc are not in use in other nations. Hence the weavers needs to be trained on customised designer wears acceptable in these countries and ensure global markets," Jon said.

Several measures are being initiated for the revival of the handloom industry in the state in association with the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, who also accompanied the designer, said in the release.

"New generations have reluctance in coming into looming. Our mission is to allay their apprehensions. The state capital is on its development path. And our aim is to explore those avenues to the welfare of handloom industry as well. More plans are in the pipeline," he said.

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