Talk of textiles

Indira Broker speaks about the exhibition at her studios in Aundh of Kolkata-based studio Bai Lou which is into contemporary handloom textiles.

It would be the right time to change the wardrobe in a small way. And one way to start that is by visiting interesting clothes exhibitions. And one name in this field who has been bringing some beautiful and traditionally natural works is Indira Broker. Her studio in Aundh is an institution itself. On March 19th and 20th, she will be exhibiting a collection of contemporary handloom textiles, saris, stoles, duppattas and yardages from West Bengal. The collection belongs to Bai Lou, a studio launched in 2002 in Kolkata which makes handmade textiles complete with raw materials and natural colours. It believes in recycling and also supporting the weavers in any possible. Around 900 saris will be part of this collection, apart from other things. When asked about the exhibition, Broker reveals, “The studio is handled by a young couple. Bai Lou is into handling handwoven fabrics and so on. They use natural fabrics and colours. I am helping them due to my belief in their work. It is a contemporary combination of traditional yarn and western style. The price range is between Rs 750 to Rs 6,000-7,000 for saris. It all depends on the yarn.”
With so many exhibitions around, one wonders to the response this one might get. Considering it is being held by Indira Broker, this exhibition is different. Recalling her previous exhibtions held in the city, Broker reveals, “You have to come here to see the stampede. There is no place to stand, as all the space is occupied. We start getting calls of when we are going to hold the exhibitions. Those from Bai Lou had come here last time and went back with hardly any material. They said that they get the best response from Pune, despite showcasing in other cities like Hyderabad and Delhi.”
Broker does not want to sound snotty, but she is sure of the products she exhibits and the fact that people look forward to her exhibitions. “I have an edge above other as I am myself involved in dealing with different handlooms instead of just trading. People know about that. Also, my lifeline is my family and friends who help me.” But she rues to the fact that the artisans and weavers are not getting their dues and Indian handlooms is in danger. She wants people to stick to the traditional handlooms which might disappear in the coming time.

If she has to describe the exhibition to sell it the Punekars, all she says is that she, Indira Broker, is holding it. “My name is associated with it and my name is established in it. When they think of handlooms, they think of me. I am into designing. So you will have authentic work. People know that if I am doing it, it is worth visiting.”
Catch the exhibition on March 19-20 between 10.30am to 7.30 pm at Indira Broker’s Studio, Abhimanshree, Apt 2, Abhimanshree Society, Aundh-Pashan Link Road, Aundh