Benu Bhatnagar: Pay Gratitude to Hands Behind Every Designer Label
- IWB Post
- June 19, 2015
Today on World Ethnic Day, we would like to take you to the world, which exists behind the label of every designer piece you buy. To keep the age-old traditional craft of India alive, many artisans all over India have been carrying their family’s art legacy in textile, block printing, weaving, etc.
To understand the lives of these artisans closely, I decided to meet Benu Bhatnagar at her showroom cum workshop.
Looking at her sparkling collection, I immediately started planning what I would wear at my BFF’s wedding.
Those colors, embroideries, gotta-patti work and patterns were what I see in fashion magazines. Each ethnic Indian attire in her store exhibits India’s rich cultural heritage and artisanship.
Shrinathji, a form of Lord Krishna, is the inspiration behind her new collection. Do you know, her Cow-motifs are painted by her son, Shan?
Benu started her work with the purpose of reviving traditional Rajasthani techniques of embellishments on textile. Her forte is gotta patti. 50 skillful artisans assist her in this mission.
Benu says, “Western outfits have their own place but nothing can beat Indian traditional attire.”
After climbing a couple of stairs, I entered her workshop. The ambiance was filled with colors and hammering noises of different printing and sewing machines.
Benu introduced me to the three women who were working on colorful clothes. As a women’s blog, we’re intrigued to know about their lives.
For this 32-year-old, income earned through her employment at Benu’s Collection is means of financial independence. Rama sends her children to school and takes pride in the work she does.
Pinki has two kids who go to school. Her husband earns enough, but still she wants to contribute to the family welfare. Her handwork is outstanding, and is highly appreciated by Benu.
According to Usha, this job results in a lot of eye strain which leaves her tired physically by the end of the day. But since she has a passion for this craft, her spirits are always high.
Once I came back to the showroom, my entire outlook towards this fancy collection got changed. I could only see the continuous tapping of the sewing machine, hands busy in threading and focused faces of the artisans. I think all this makes any designer collection so precious!
So next time when you pick up a colorful couture from a boutique, pay gratitude to those who work behind the scenes. Remember it is not a label, it’s someone’s livelihood.
Photo courtesy: Ansh