Textile designer K Radharaman made headlines when he had to correct an error on Sabyasachi’s Instagram account.
It was his design label, The House of Angadi, which was behind the red kanjivaram sari worn by Deepika Padukone at her Konkani wedding in Italy.
Later, she wore a gold one at the Bangalore reception.
Radharaman wasn’t present when Deepika, accompanied by her mother Ujjwala, visited the store, Angadi Galleria, for trousseau shopping.
It wasn’t their first visit to the store.
“The sari was not custom woven for them,” says Radharaman.
“It was from a limited edition collection Advaya, Sanskrit for unique. The designs under it are always exclusive.”
The red saree belongs to a limited edition collection Advaya. (Photo: Instagram. Inset: K Radharaman/Mail Today)
Radharaman belongs to an esteemed family, which has been involved in textile trade for six centuries. He grew up in Madras, one of the epicentres of the business.
But as a collegian, he chose engineering.
When he left his studies to launch The House of Angadi, an umbrella organisation that promotes textile brands, nobody was surprised.
It was homecoming.
But he credits his years at Cornell University in the US for developing his finer fashion sensibilities.
“I enjoyed visiting the store fronts on Fifth Avenue and The Antonio Ratti Textile Galleries at The MET,” said Radharaman.
His interest in the discipline enhanced after interactions with designers in Europe, especially in Como.
“Como is home to the world’s largest luxury silk weaving facilities, which inspired my design thinking at a young age. I will never forget my interactions with entrepreneurs like Donnatella Ratti (the textile gallery at the MET is named after her father) and Mauritz Manteiro (godfather of the luxury industry).”
Before joining the business, Radharaman worked in home textiles for Ralph Lauren, Kravet, and Armani Casa.
Deepika wore this real zari Kanjivaram brocade. The body design is the Gandaberunda (or two-headed bird), the mythological figure which is representive of the state of Karnataka. (Photo: Instagram/@angadigalleria)
“Design as a language communicates to the subconscious,” said Radharaman.
“It can influence a person’s thinking, and impacts cultural and social landscape. To a designer, the few moments when you can actually perceive in your mind’s eye, something that physically does not yet exist, can be a spiritually uplifting experience.”
Seeing the aesthetics of kanjivaram being diluted with cheap imitations prompted Radharaman to step in and remind people of its prestige.
He began work with kanjivarams in 2010.
The golden saree which Deepika wore at reception was also from Angadi Galleria. (Photo: Instagram)
At Angadi Galleria, customers get kanjivarams, and other sought-after weaving forms like Benaresi and Kota.
“As designers, we create trends sometimes, sometimes we just follow them,” said Radharaman.
“Traditions are however timeless. I aspire to contemporarise traditions and make them relevant to a modern context.”
Padukone has managed to remind us about the sheer elegance of a sari. And Radharaman can only be glad that she chose his brand and promoted his favourite garment for her big day.
“Indian women are lucky that they do not have to look like millions of brides around the world — dressed in the same colour using the same type of fabric. We have such diversity in our traditions; it would be a shame if we don’t treasure them.”
(Courtesy of Mail Today)