Go bold and beautiful with your ‘onakkodi’ Festival Outfit this year

Floral hues, animal motifs…
From floral prints, animal motifs, and applique patterns straight from a flower garden, fashion designers are banking on various prints to deck up their festive collection this year. The House of Mannath by Label’M Boutique, based in Ernakulam, is no exception. Their collection, Dhrithi, boasts sarees elegantly woven in organza and mulmul cotton, lined with intricate prints.

Reshma Binu George, one of the designers and owners of the fashion label, says their focus was to feature a vibrant yet elegant festive collection.

“Rather than going for off-white, we have introduced sarees in pastel shades. All of them boast intricate floral designs,” she says.

In addition to sarees, the label also has casuals and work wear like kaftans, kurthis, and dresses. “These, too, don floral prints and are very sought after,” Reshma adds.


Revathy Jayan Babu, who runs a design label of the same name in Thiruvananthapuram, has employed animal prints to deck up her collection, Kalki.  

Leopard prints and tiger face designs — both hand-embroidered and patchworked on conventional attires — infuse some swag into the otherwise classic elegance of the fabric. “Kalki line is inspired by pulikali, a rich cultural art form that echoes the Onam spirit,” she says.

Her other collection, Vadamalli, boasts jumpsuits, sharara suits, casual dresses, etc. “For the men’s range, the floral motifs are hand-embroidered on collars and sleeves,” the designer adds.

Experimenting with applique patterns with traditional kasav this year is prolific Kochi-based designer Sreejith Jeevan with his venture Rouka. His latest collection, ‘Thy Garden Come,’ boasts a range adorned with elements of a garden filled with flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

Handloom magic
Florals on handloom fabric. This is the speciality of Southloom.com, a designer label based in Thiruvananthapuram.

The boutique offers hand-painted, intricate floral designs on gold and silver tissue handloom sarees. “Besides florals, we have also seen an interest in Jaipur prints on handloom sarees,” says Raj Baiju, the owner. For those who love to stick with classic handlooms, the shop also boasts the classy Balaramapuram Unakkupaavu handloom saree and dhoti.

At Weavers Village, a Thiruvananthapuram-based offline and online handloom boutique, the focus this year is on curating a sustainable fashion collection that features the ‘people around us’. 

“The portraits of the people who have inspired the clients will be painted as customised designs on the men’s and women’s wear of this collection. In addition to this, we will also launch a version wherein we have the portraits of strong women of our society embroidered on handloom sarees and dhavani sets,” said Shobha Viswanath, the chief designer of the venture.

Rosegold sarees and hand-painted dhotis at Kasavu Malika Handlooms in Overbridge junction, Trivandrum. (BP Deepu, EPS)

Men’s clothes get their due
“I have only seen conventional designs for men. People are bored of the peacock feather designs and murals,” laments Sreejith. In an effort to remedy this, the designer has introduced an Aksharamala dhothi where Malayalam letters are embroidered near the border.

Southloom.com, too, has added more choices for their men’s collection. “Now, we have Chinese alphabets as prints on mundu kara. Also, hand-painted Ramayana and Mahabharata images,” says Raj.

For those who wish to get some colourful dhotis this season, Weavers Village has also introduced natural colour-dyed dhotis with tiger face prints and motifs of cute Theyyam figures.

Kochi-based designer label L’zaba, too, has launched quirky cotton shirts with Malayalam one-liner like ‘Polich Aliya’, ‘Thithithara’ and ‘Thani Malayali’. 

Rosegold sarees and hand-painted dhotis at Kasavu Malika Handlooms in Overbridge junction. (BP Deepu, EPS)

Rosegold is the new rave
If copper dominated the previous Onam, this time, it is rose gold’s turn. Pallus and borders of sarees, and dhotis immersed in rose gold has made a big splash this festive season, says designers and shopkeepers.

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