Saturday, June 12, 2021
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Aprons: Fashion’s newest accessory

What, at one point, would have been a considerate gift for a dinner host is now something we must reserve for ourselves. A designer apron. For many of us doing our own cooking and dish-washing in the last few months, an apron designed by Anavila or Antar-Agni or eight other contemporary designers might be that tiny nod to luxury we sorely need.

IndiLuxe, the handcrafted and sustainable segment of Tata CLiQ Luxury, has roped in 10 designers this season to create aprons that reflect their sensibilities. So Anavila, known for her handwoven linen saris, has a natural linen apron lined with soft mulmul, handmade lace detail, printed piping and a pocket. All 10 designers have factored pockets, even while exploring recycled fabrics or the zero-waste concept.

But naturally, linen

  • Anavila Misra, recently in the news for donating her handmade linen masks to local postmen in Mumbai, admits the extended time at home has made her more observant of things she uses.
  • “When I am setting the table at home, I start paying attention to design, even something as simple as kitchen towels. Or the roti basket. Or the couch I am sitting on.”
  • When IndiLuxe reached out, linen was the obvious choice for her apron. Admitting that she wasn’t kitchen-friendly when growing up (in a UP town), Misra says the last three months have helped her “discover a newfound love for cooking and health”.
  • While her husband researches muesli and milk substitutes, Misra has been reading books on ancient Indian cooking, and fine-tuning recipes like her one-pot vegetable and pulses khichdi to feed her “eternally hungry 13-year-old son”.
  • The family begins with green juice in the morning with alma and ginger, and at the end of the day, an immunity-boosting glass of kadha (with turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, lemon and honey).

Gaurav Khanijo’s denim apron has a belt, buttons and a phone pocket; Gautam Sinha of Nappa Dori puts canvas and leather to good use, with a multi-purpose clasp; ruffles and a vintage touch come from Payal Singhal; and Urvashi Kaur offers hers with upcycled Shibori panels and kantha details. “Each apron has its own unique personality, different from each other yet connected with a contemporary aesthetic,” explains Rina Shah, Business Head, IndiLuxe. The aprons, part of Apron Project 2020, are an extension of a gourmet food and kitchen category that includes cast iron cookware and edibles like lemon cookies and single origin coffee.

Apron Project 2020 is reminiscent of the platform’s Shawl Project from two years ago, which kickstarted the IndiLuxe section and featured Manish Arora, Rahul Mishra and Rajesh Pratap Singh among the collaborators. Shah admits that ‘Kitchen’ is an important category and her “curation team is on the lookout for story-led collections”. For now, with the aprons limited to 10 pieces per designer, you might want to make quick work of bringing one home.

₹5,000 each at luxury.tatacliq.com/indiluxe

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