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Sunder Nursery, Nizamuddin, New Delhi

Laju Shaparia, an Arts graduate from Mumbai University first walked down the entrepreneurial path a decade back, setting up a home based firm engaged in designing and selling Indian traditional wear like salwaar kurtas, tunics and sarees for the fashion conscious women of today who is looking for something different and yet affordable. However her foray into starting her own label had its beginnings in a passion for textiles, particularly the centuries-old patola tradition, and a desire to make it more relevant. Now, ten years after she formed her eponymous label, Lajus passion project has transformed into a thriving space with an established presence in New Delhi and Mumbai and exhibitions across the globe. Innovation is at the core of her practice, changing the way the age-old technique is perceived. The hand-woven silk sari, distinct for the absence of a reverse side, undergoes a modern update under Lajus vision. However, the signature style of the label is still centred around traditional designs and motifs, like the navratna and the vorahgaji. We have moved away from the earthy tones typically associated with patola saris and are adapting contemporary colour palettes,the designer explains. Laju has also worked with weavers to conceive a unique cotton patola. Her endeavours to revive ancient crafts, also expands into eri silk, also known as ahimsa silk. Its yarn is reeled without killing the worms inside. It is a beautiful isothermal material which keeps one cool in the summer and warm in the winters.