She flutters in wings woven fine
She dwells in ivory twine
She sings from her heart divine
She walks on sunshine

– Kriti Sethi

headtilt x divani

As the official costume partner for Yash Raj Films’s latest production, SULTAN, Diva’niIndia’s first cinema-inspired ethnic wear fashion brand pays an ode to their craftsmen, the real unsung heroes – the Sultans of Divani by bringing forth the age old art of impeccable karigari through their collection titled ‘Lafz’. Handcrafted authentically by the craftsmen of Lucknow and styled and fabricated at home by Diva’ni, these creations proudly take forward the ‘Make In India’ campaign in all its glory.

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In a glamorous world of fast fashion, ready to wear clothing and the endless need to keep it casual, the age old art of karigari hangs by a thin but firm thread. Standing tall as the custodians of Indian art and craftsmanship, Diva’ni revives the beautiful craft of Mughal hand embroidery and adds on its aesthetics, making the end creations a must for your summer wardrobe.

I have been in absolute awe of these beautifully handcrafted couture creations from the very first time I laid eyes on them. Needless to say, it was more than a pleasure to style this look on myself in association with Diva’ni.

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Dipped in serene hues of ivories and tea dips, this pure and intricate collection boasts of the Mughal art of rendering delicate patterns in pristine white threads on fine mulls and muslin. Travelling back in time, this art traces its origin in the darbars of queen Nur Jehan. Since then, this beautiful art of chikankari has won hearts across all generations.

Instead of going for an off the rack look, I picked out my favorite separates from the collection and teamed them together in the look shown here. The blush pink zardozi embellished silk-velvet choli features the most intricate  dabka embroidery I’ve come across. I decided on a matching pink chikankari dupatta and an ombre-dyed turquoise blue chikankari lehenga to go with it, for a younger, more vibrant look. Teamed the outfit with classic chaandbalis, a delicate hand harness and glass bangles.

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The collection is now available in stores and I strongly suggest all you chikankari connoisseurs to go invest in these things of absolute beauty.

Outfit – Diva’ni
Earrings – Indiancultr
Hand-harness – Isharya

Photographed by Tarun Chawla
Location Courtesy – Social Offline, Hauz Khas Village

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“In a world where news of inhumanity bombards our sensibilities, where grasping for things goes so far beyond our needs, where time is squandered in busyness, it is a pleasure and a privilege to pause for a look at handiwork, to see beauty amidst utility, and to know that craft traditions begun so long ago serve us today.”

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The process of creating a handcrafted piece is excruciating, as it requires impeccable craftsmanship, precision and countless hours.
The kind folks at Diva’ni also invited me into their workshop to watch and photograph their Sultans at work.

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The karigars, who despite of not having received any formal education in their craft, create masterpieces that come straight from the heart by putting their “Lafz” or words into their craft. It’s time to salute their talent, sincerity and utmost devotion.

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All images are © Surbhi Sethi, 2016. Please do not distribute without permission.

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