Indian Designer

-Ritu Kumar

Presented By:Reema N.

Indian Designer: Ritu Kumar

“The pride of India” Ritu Kumar is a person who needs no introduction infact her work speaks out for themselves. A little girl from Amritsar who dreamed to be successful completed her basic academy in Amritsar, as well as studied various things from various parts of her motherland. With the ability of minute observation, managed to gain interest in various artistics forms of India.

Ritu began with hand block printers and two tables in a small village near
Calcutta, and in the last 28 years, Ritu’s team of dedicated workers have progressed to produce some of the country’s most exquisite garments and accessories in cotton, silk and leather. These ranges embrace both traditional textile crafts and the lineage of Indian design. Over the centuries, traditional skills that had been lost have been revitalized and this has enabled the craftsmen to continue working in their own environment. Ritu has pioneered the term ‘fashion’ in the Indian context, and more importantly, has demonstrated that hand made products can be as profitable and even more glamorous than those made by machine.

At least six of these. 1944 Citizenship: INDIAN Married. have won the award for the Most Outstanding Evening Gown in International pageants. Two children. Miss World & Miss Asia pacific respectively). Calcutta . Ritu Kumar also launched her book ‘ Costumes and Textiles of Royal India’ which is published by Christie’s. evening wear. Style icons as late Princess Diana have patronized her outfits. Ashutosh Museum. 1967. formal evening gowns. casual wear. Education: Post Graduate Diploma in Museology. for their participation in the International beauty pageants (Miss Universe. Manpreet Brar. London. of the winning three Miss India’s. November 11. Ritu has opened many outlets all over India. Ruchi Malhotra. Rani Jeyraj and recently Lara Dutta. Personal Data: Born in Amritsar. to mention a few. But she evolved another style for European buyer. embroidery and craft inputs on a western style. Ritu has been designing the wardrobes comprising swim-wear.that draw heavily on the textile and embroidery heritage of India and remains classics of their kind. Her Indo-West fusion wear has all the trappings of block prints.Ritu Kumar’s forte is traditional Indian clothes. traditional Indian wear.

1960. Amritsar Matriculation. Amritsar Professional Experience: Designer of Textiles and Garments R & D in Design: Leather ready-mades and accessories using traditional techniques – The collection “Karabagh” launched in 1994. Revival and change of end use of vegetable printing/painting and dyeing techniques in Andhra Pradesh.Associate in Arts. 1964. USA Bachelor of Education. Briarcliff College. 1958. Lady Irwin College. Westchester County. Development of a specialized printing unit at Balabhgarh employing modern techniques of screen-printing. NY. Research into traditional design motifs to translate them from traditional uses to leather and textiles. Sacred Heart Convent. producing two collections a year for national retail outlets in:  Traditional Zardozi . Revival and change in end use of the printing techniques of Tanjore. Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi Intermediate in Science. Revival of tie/dye in selected areas in Gujarat. Lady Irwin College. Development of handloom weaving to suit ready to wear needs. in Maheshwar. Continuing work on established lines. 1966. 1965. Government College. Orissa and Tamil Nadu. New Delhi Bachelor of Science in Home Economics.

But then this is a . It’s a lot of hard work. New Delhi. Delhi Crafts Council. Kashida  Handblock prints  Ethnic embroideries by machine and hand  Kantha Associations Membership of Governing / Executive bodies : All India Handloom Board at the Ministry of Textiles. I also try and visualize whether a woman would look elegant in my designs. Boutique 1966 Ritu’s first Boutique opened in Delhi at D3 Defence Colony Link Road. Delhi Chapter Divyachhaya “Save a Child” Trust. This was the first ever boutique in Delhi Collections “I believe in going deep into the roots of every design to find out its relevance in the present context. Calcutta / Delhi Board of Governors : National Institute of Fashion Technology.

” — Ritu Kumar First City. In the small village of Ranihati.very competitive field and unless you put in that extra effort you will tag far behind. . The fusion of a Mughal craft with the Indian. a celebration of the secular mind. resurrected in all its tensile glory for weddings festivals and ceremonies. a cluster of thatched huts under giant palms a few miles outside Kolkata. degraded by commercial exploitation. Ritu Kumar began research and work on reviving the forgotten art of Zardozi. . Aug-99 Zardozi Threads of metal Crafting their way through the lineage of skilled fingers Zardosi at one time encrusting the garments of royal patrons. With innovations in use of material and the technique of Zardozi itself she was able to attain applicability much wider than its traditional use in court and bridal costumes.

soon resulted in a broad understanding and revived patronage of this craft. after years of research. leaves. Block printing is another highly developed tradition of ornamenting textiles. tone on tone Chikan of Lucknow. Far to the north. innovation and creation. Blocks are small surfaces of wood carved in reverse. trees. . mirror works motifs of the Kutch. Ritu Kumar developed ‘Kashida’ as the art of colored thread embroidery on hand block printed fabric. and the Kanthas of Bengal form part of the vast repertoire of India’s embroidery traditions. 1988: Kashida Using needle and thread to decorate textiles is an ancient craft. Kashmir’s stylized plant and floral motifs. vines developed in hinterland villages over hundreds of years. stretching from Macchalipatnam to Negapatnam lies the Cholamandal Coast. Ritu Kumar launched her Zardozi collection in New Delhi. These are dipped into dyes and the design is transferred on to cloth. In India embroidery patterns have evolved in different regions of the country—the geometric phulkari’s of the Punjab. Zardozi is now an extensively used and widely appreciated technique around the country. The prints of these region are synonymous with an exuberant design vocabulary of stylized flowers. This was the first ever display of Zardozi in a contemporary era. hidden in the mountains and valleys of Kashmir. The Collection was first displayed in 1988 and has since been used significantly in RITU’s garments sold at her retail outlets around India.In 1985. To her credit. A modest beginning but with tremendous hard work. birds. 1994: Karabagh On the southwestern shores of India.

the ‘Sangmarmar’ collection . from the Indian heartland. Thus leather coats. a completely different vocabulary with its vibrant use of the square space and evolved spring-like textured jalis with vibrant surface distribution which were popular later as the “Cheent” or chinz prints of India. bags and accessories are embossed. embroidered and quilted on the finest Murshidabad silk. The experiment transcends tradition in its attempt to combine techniques and materials accessible to the designer. with ‘tone-on-tone’ white embroidery or delicate pastel contrasts. With the Karabagh Collection. printed or painted. enhancing and adding an element of embellishment hitherto unexplored. 1996: Sangmarmar Launched at the end of March – just as spring turned to summer. Villages in the desert reaches of Rajasthan and dusty plains of Gujarat gave us the Buti in its many forms while the Farukhabad School. embroidered in harmony with the basic ethos of the Cholamandal design range. Ritu Kumar pays tribute to the eternal vines of the Cholamandal coast and the paisley or Ambi. which is the starting point of this collection. transforming the feel of the unending vines of Cholamandal and bringing in a fresh energy to the eternal paisley. The soft furnishing include spreads. produced in its ateliers. perhaps for the first time. around myriad permutations on the Ambi. popularized in the painted and printed tradition of Kalamkari. hangings and cushions printed. or what became known as the paisley to the rest of the world. the Sangmarmar Collection is based on the pristine white of the immortal Taj Mahal and designed with motifs that echo the carvings and inlay work. Mostly comprising outfits in soft white tery-rubia. which is synonymous with the Indian identity of design.another distinct design directory evolved.

khaki. are vibrant with their red. colors and prints. 1998: Gulmohar As summer sets in. short sleeves and criss-cross backs – young and yet with a touch of nostalgia. flowering hibiscus. seductive and warm in its textures. The colors are tropical and hot and liven up summer evenings 1999: Bridal Ritu Kumar rejects the long-held premise that the Indian bride has primarily to be dressed in shades of red. Cool and comfortable.epitomizes the purity of marble. Delicate . turquoise and even off-white colors. Flowy and feminine. saffron. flame of the forest and the deep golden yellow of the marigold are splashed in all their richness in floral prints on salwar kameez ensembles. exuberant and wild under the hot April sun. The surrounding trees of the Jacaranda are like an artist’s brush strokes of mauve and purple which along with the brilliant yellows of the Amaltash flowering trees produce a kaleidoscope which vies with the glare of the hot mid day sun. the romantic flame of the forest trees. 1998: Dhoop Chhaon Hues of damask rose. the designs offer scoop necklines. For her Bridal ‘99 collection she selected mehendi green. Ritu Kumar’s Gulmohar collection reflects this joyous mood in its play of vibrant prints on cool chiffons. hot colored flowers.

Ritu Kumar first presented her “Prêt to Couture” collection along with a collection of woolens. Recently. 2000: Prêt to Couture In August 2000. Reshmi Ghosh.Zardozi and Aari work embellish the ensembles and the off white fabrics are interwoven with pure gold thread. The inspirations for these garments are basic Indian motifs. as “A Retrospective—Prêt to Couture” Reshmi Ghosh Femina Miss India . The show first opened at the Lakme India Fashion Week in New Delhi and was later shown in Kolkata. it was combined with a collection of ancient costumes from Ritu Kumar’s archives as well as her latest Bridal Collection and presented at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai. .2002 At the preliminary rounds of the Miss Earth Contest. prints and embroideries but with the usage of a wide range of western silhouettes mingled with Indian styles. silk and leather garments. “Prêt to Couture” is a collection of casual and formal wear that is both young and elegant.

The pattern moves into a curling vine in the larger areas of the garment. The national costume of any country reflects the classical best of its textile traditions. The national costume for Reshmi is styled from the traditional wedding wear of the royal houses of the Punjab in northern India. and two odhinis or viels.Femina Miss India 2002 won a Best National Costume award designed by Ritu Kumar in the event held at Manila India has a rich repertoire of styles and techniques. bangles and flowers. The pattern is coloured in rich red/burgundy and the entire design is picked up with a three dimensional gold embroidery traditionally known in India for centuries-. The ensemble is accessorized with antiqued kundan jewellery. edges the skirt and the veil. This is the traditional method of detailing royal garments. One of these is worn over the shoulder and the other one covers the head to give the ensemble a regal look.called Zardozi. It consists of a panelled skirt. a short blouse. “Ritu Kumar is also one of the choosen one to design outfits for the contestant for Miss India Pagent as well as the Miss Universe Miss Asia Pacific participant representing India. A wide border of a stylized “Tree of Life" motif.” . each with diverse interest and socially interesting norms. The viel which covers the hair is made of sheer net and embellished with narrow borders. and patterned with a design from the printing school of Farukhabad. The first three parts of the ensembles are made of silk.

  Tree Of Life : .participated in the Miss Earth contest in Manila.Miss International and Miss Earth added to the growing list of pageants.Designed wardrobes for the participants of various pageants. Shruti Sharma . Reshmi Ghosh . which was held on the 20th October 2002.participated in the Miss Asia Pacific contest held in Manila on the 30th November 2002 and she was the first runner up in the contest.    Neha Dhupia . with two new contests-. She won the Best national Costume Award wearing one of our lehnga choli.participated in the Miss World contest held in London on the 30th November 2002.participated in the Miss Universe Contest held in Puerto Rico on 29th May 2002.participated in the Miss International contest in Tokyo on the 04th October 2002. Gauhar Khan . Tina Chatwal .

Vegetable dyes. culture and style. The show has now been running for over 10 years and has traveled all over the world. opening doors of India's rich heritage and tradition and receiving incredible acclaim from the fashion world and media. indigo bubbling in vats. Hand Block Printing: The first imprint of design on cloth… India’s gift to the world The Tree of life carved in handheld blocks.Kalpavrisha or ‘Tree of Life” is a recurrent motif from the earliest records and a metaphor for the mystery of creation. painstakingly printed on garments of ageless style for the people of an ancient land. each a technique of textile craft that Ritu Kumar has been working with over the past 30 years. duplicated exuberantly in prolific designs on timeless fabric. . (Was one of her inspiration) The 'Tree of Life' show is a textile tableau combined with an audio visual that takes it's audience across India’s unique blend of tradition. mordant dyes. The show comprises eight sequences.

Awards were given to deserving members of the fashion . Mixing block printing with embroidery and many such exclusive creations are a part of her collections. December 1998: 'Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Award'set by the PHD-Chamber of Commerce. 15th July 2000: 'Lifetime achievement award' set by Kingfisher Group The Kingfisher group hosted Fashion Fantasia. Awards 1998: 'Lifetime Achievement Award' set by National Institute of Fashion Technology.Hand Block Printing a long forgotten traditional designing was brought back by Ritu Kumar by creating variations with the help of research and experimentations. a fashion extravaganza in Bangalore. In recognition to the contribution to the fashion industry. and the encouragement of young talent at NIFT. Ritu was appointed on the Board of Governors of NIFT and was felicitated with the 'Lifetime Achievement award.

Ritu Kumar released the Costumes and Textiles of Royal India with launches in London and the four main metros in India. An in-depth account of the royal costumes and textiles of India the book considers all the various stylistic traditions. arising from within this vast country The Perfect Wedding: Wedding Collection (From Ritu’s Table) . both religious and regional.fraternity and this is where Ritu Kumar once again won the 'Lifetime achievement award' Book: In 1999.

I try and reflect the changes that have been brought about in the bridal apparel throughout the century. Andhra Pradesh. Kashmir. The use of embellishments is traditional and do not depend upon crystals. the motifs of Rajasthan . There are also traditional wedding lehngas in red. The motifs range from the traditional schools of India's traditional textile centres like Benaras. sequins or any other plastic ornamentation. The traditional metallic effects created with a mixture of dhapka. Agra and of course the main schools of Gujarat and Rajasthan. aari and gota often teaming with both gold and silver is used again to create the fabled Ganga Jamuna effect which has been symbolic of both the aesthetics and culture of the Indian sub continent. The latest collection depicts the finest in Indian tradition of embroidery where different kinds of Indian embroidery techniques have been used.

Also on display is a range of farshis. The mood varies from a light aari lehngas and three piece ensemble range to a heavily worked richly covered silk woven lehngas. Other wedding ensembles are in ochre. salwar kurtas. to soft pomegranate. khakis. peach. terracotta and burgundy. saffron. These are especially noteworthy for their appearance again into the Indian bridal repertoire after an absence of almost a decade or more. churidars. In a lighter vein are the gossamer thin net versions of lehnga outfits which portray both a rich glamour and subdued elegance. lilac. odhinis and saris in vegetable colour palettes of earthy gheru. which have found popularity amongst the younger generation. The colour palette also emphasized Mehndi green. soft greys gold and turquoise.ornamented with gota and zardozi. dusty rose colours. magenta or maroon. peach and bandhini silk with the traditional cheron design highlighted with butis or the paisley motifs. as a mark of departure from the traditional ones like red. An Interview – Ritu Kumar . rose pink.

. it will take a lot of sweat and endeavor. Challenges in the fields: To be constantly innovative and understand the needs of a new generation without losing the inherent thread of one's work or one's handwriting. Be prepared to not create genius. both of which reflected the textile richness of this country. and hope something will evolve at the end. Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay Ambitions in life: To be able to continue the research and revival work that has been started in the craft areas. Advise to aspirants: There are no shortcuts in any profession. High point in career: The completion of my book The Costumes and Textiles of Royal India and the tableau The Tree Of Life.Ritu Kumar (Began the boutique culture in India) Mentors: Pupul Jayakar. If the job is worth doing.

Kajal: A must for every woman to make her eyes look beautiful and expressive. Jewellery: Something that looks like a cross between Indian and European designs. Short kurtas will remain a favourite with the younger lot and the saree will come back in a big way. it's time now to add some colour. So look forward to lots of bright colour. a well-fitting trouser suit. Scarves in bright colours will be the rage. Ritu Kumar – An Inspiration . a linen jacket and a solid salwar kameez in beige or any other colour with nice. Wardrobe essentials for women Sandals: A minimum of two pairs of good sandals is a must for every woman. Everybody. Wardrobe essential for men A well-stitched pair of black trousers. there will an emphasis on accessorizing blacks and browns with bright colours. So look forward to lots of bright colours this year. antique silver jewellery is best. Clothes: A nice saree in crepe. will like to be in a saree.Fashion Forecasting Trends After a year where black reigned supreme and the emphasis was on minimalism. good shoes and a leather jacket are musts for any good looking man. Besides. bright accessories are a must. regardless of age. Scarves: They will be one of the most important part of any woman's wardrobe this year. For this. a nice pair of denim jeans.

Her research and work motivates me to experiment and explore various traditional art works of my motherland which surely stands apart from the rest.Ritu Kumar is indeed an inspiration to me and many other young aspiring designers. . Ritu Kumar is one of the Indian Designer who represents are country and promotes our rich heritage on an international level.

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