Sue Mue Launches Spring Summer 2017 Collection Albeli – Beauty Unchained
In an event packed with Awadhi elegance, we recently launched our Spring-Summer 2017 collection, Albeli – Beauty Unchained at our Green Park flagship store. This one of a kind presentation which was designed to take guests through a journey of different elements inspired by the Awadh region of north India.
Inspired by the free-spirited Awadhi queens, the Albeli collection is an ode to the beauty and pride of the modern Indian woman who lives life with power and poise. In keeping with the theme, the event featured a hands-on ‘experience zone’. Guests could enjoy Awadhi food, fragrances from Oudh, curation of the best of Albeli couture and live installations of five different craftsmen, who showcased five embroideries from the Awadhi region, which are a part of our collection.
Rihaan Ali showcased mukaish embroidery (also known as badla or fardi), which originated in Lucknow and involves twisting thin metallic threads to create a pattern on the fabric.
Mohommad Salmaan displayed phanda knots, which have their origin in the Mughal era when ‘phanda’ or knots were commonly used for sewing flower motifs and small booties. Metallic zari and threads are used for this technique.
Zardozi, a beautiful metal craft which involves making elaborate designs using silver and gold threads, was demonstrated by Kaamran Khan. Zar means gold and dozi means embroidery; it was an important element of Persian culture and attained its summit in India during the 17th century under the patronage of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is still popular in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Another famous stitch from the state, chikankari, was demonstrated by Maasuf Ali. With its origin in Lucknow, chikan began as a type of white-on-white embroidery. Literally translated, the word itself means embroidery. It’s the art of delicately creating patterns and effects through stitches and varied thicknesses of the threads. Some of the stitches include backstitch, chain stitch and hemstitch. The result is an open work pattern, jail (lace) or shadow-work. Many believe this art form was introduced by Nur Jehan, wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir, though records of it go back to 3rd century BC.
Artisan Mohommad Sohil demonstrated tepchi taanka, which also originated in Lucknow. It was traditionally done only by hand on larger chikankari garments. With the help of thread work woven along the grain of the fabric in single rows, it is a simple and unique darning stitch.
Besides the embroidery demonstrations, there were other indulgences for our guests. In a playful twist, guests could turn a wheel to pick a stitch based on their personality – this was then given to them as a memoir for their homes or workplaces.
A delightful afternoon that showcased dying art forms and highlighted the craftsmen behind the scenes of the collection, the Sue Mue Albeli launch was as educational as engaging, a fitting concept for a regal collection yoked in history.