SARI REDEUX
Elle India|April 2021
KH Radharaman of Advaya is changing how we look at the Kanjeevaram sari. Vinita Makhija visits the sari’s birthplace with the visionary and returns suitably impressed

The 3,000 year-old Varadharaja Perumal temple serves as a living mood-board for Advaya

French weaver Joseph Jacquard invented the Jacquard prototype in 1804. These punch cards are used to render hand-drawn designs of a sari on a loom through a binary code

Prepping the yarn before it is woven. And trying my hand at the laborious but magical handloom

Textiles have made a definitive comeback in the Indian fashion lexicon. As for saris, weaves are at the centre of the conversation. And for makers of labels such as Advaya, the weaves are their life and culture, the heritage crafts going beyond conscious consumerism.

Founded in 2010, Advaya is creative director and chief designer KH Radharaman’s brainchild. They produce saris from end to end— from the yarn selection, designing, weaving and marketing to finally getting them to their loyal clientele. Radharaman is involved in every single Advaya piece that is created— his design samples are so exhaustive they need their own office space. In fact, a museum is in the making! After all, the family weaving history is 600 years old. His ancestors were Padmasilya (the traditional) silk weavers who migrated from Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu. Textile lovers have always known of the Raman family. However, the rest of the country woke up to their presence thanks to Deepika Padukone’s Mangalorean wedding ceremony sari.

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