A walk into the designer's factory in the Gurgaon business hub bordering Delhi reveals the painstaking efforts of the workers. Some were busy with embroidery on colourful fabrics, while others were concentrating on embellishing them. "I always try to give employment to my craftspeople with my clothes and this is what I am doing this time as well," Mahajan said. Work was on in full swing to make the September 14 show a memorable affair.

The new couture line finds inspiration in Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh (1820-79). Age-old embroideries and fabrics like badla work block printing and mukaish form the essence of every design. Mahajan is known for keeping her ensembles authentic and she has worked with artisans from Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat and Bengal over two decades of her association with the fashion industry. "It's fantastic to work with such talented people, who have so much to share," she said.

The new line has a differentiating factor from Mahajan's previous collections - her signature prints will be missing! "I have been working a lot with block printing; that's something I reinvented. I am using a lot of old fabrics that I've used in my previous shows. But this show comes with a lot of embroidery and no print at all, something that I have never done before," she added.

She has delved deeper into bringing "rich textiles" to the ramp and she says she has used "almost 200 different types of embroidery techniques for the show". "It's not like one collection - it is five different collections together. Not only have we used old types of embroidery, we have also reinvented them to make them more modern," she explained.

(Agencies)

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