Assamese Mekhla debuts at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn 2013

Mumbai based fashion designer Vaishali Shadangule stole the glamorous red carpet show at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013 on 17th March, inspired by Mekhla Chadar – the traditional Assamese attire.

She is known for her contemporary designs from Indian hand woven textiles. Born in a small town Vidisha, a small town about 56 km northeast of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. Vaishali’s journey into fashion has been an inspiring tale. In April 1997, she walked out of her parents’ home with no money or baggage.

Today, the designer runs a five-year-old fashion label Vaishali S in Mumbai that employs over 65 people.

She introduced on the ramp in a very experimental typical patterns by showcasing bold hues of gold, orange, pink, fluorescent green and varied shades of blue and complimented it with hand embroidery which has subtle and understated gracious elegance.

About Muga (Mooga or Moonga as some pronounce) – the indigenous silk, also known as the pride of Assam, is produced by the Antheraea assamensis caterpillars endemic to the state . It’s beautiful golden hue lends itself for artistic weaving. The continuous silk filaments are mostly used for mekhla chadors, sarees and dress material, while the hand spun yarn is used to make shawls and home furnishing.

In Assam, Moonga is worn by women in the form of Mekhla, a concert of three pieces of cloth– a skirt like a sarong, a blouse and an additional piece of cloth draped over the shoulder. In Assam, Mekhla Chador or Saree costs a minimum Rs 10,000.

Vaishali got introduced to the the magic of Moonga and its design during her visit to Assam last year. In her collection at the WLIFW, she incorporated elements of Mekhla that symbolises the complex lanes and architectural design of the villages of the state.  Over 400 female weavers helped brought alive her creations with the beautiful drapes and mix of fine constructions to bring out the beauty of the Mekhla by retaining its original elements.

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