ETHICAL | SUSTAINABLE | WOMEN EMPOWERED
I came across Okhai two years back while working at Kulture Shop. Over there I met Kirti Poonia – head of Okhai, and she briefly explained to me how Okhai functions.
Okhai offers handcrafted apparel and lifestyle products created by rural artisans from across India. These artisans are gifted with the talent and traditional skills to craft exquisite designs in styles that are unique to their culture and heritage. Okhai’s mission is to encourage women from less privileged backgrounds to acquire new skills; to give them the self-confidence and self-esteem required to earn by their own industry and initiative; to enable them to carry this newly discovered skill and confidence into the wider world.
Ever since my discovery about Okhai, I had been following their work and love how ethically they lead their production.
Chitrangada Chakraborty is my first model with whom I did not meet personally before the shoot. Yet, we had a smooth sailing, she is superbly talented and has an eye towards unique and creative things in life.
For her first look, she is wearing this elegant cream kurta with lovely zardozi work. The ideal part of the Kurta- Pockets! Love how Okhai understands our (women’s) basic necessities.
Teamed it up with a white Patiala and minimal accessories. Wear this Kurta to work and take it straight into your evening cocktail party just by adding a bit of drama with that head gear! Manipulate the look and personalise according to your lifestyle 😉
Okhai products use mirror work, patchwork and embroidery created as a vibrant expression of the rural way of life, their rituals and their legends.
For the second look, Chitrangada is wearing this beautiful hand block printed indigo dress enhanced with mirror work detail. Wear it as a dress or wear it like a Kurta, it will look graceful in both styles.
The fabric is incredibly soft and the cut & volume of the dress gives that extra bit of comfort.
Okhai has been identified as a promising means of generating livelihood for hundreds of rural artisans. It has made a significant contribution to the lives of the women artisans working with it, which has helped improve their economic as well as social status.
Okhai understands the rich culture and traditions that the rural communities of the Artisans are steeped in and translates this heritage into products by pairing traditional art with contemporary designs and modern processes. Their designs best suits the urban working women because of the versatility, comfort and functionality quotient in every garment.
The pattern of this white dress is so beautifully done that the mulmul fabric will keep you cool in the heat yet snuggle you for that comfortable feel.
The volume of the dress along with the layers & the panels makes you feel like swirl all day long!
Minimal work on the front of the kurta adds an extra charm and makes it versatile to be worn from a Sunday brunch to a dinner date or simply visiting an old friend.
Moreover, their transparency of the whole process of who makes your clothes gives you that confidence and works towards building a genuine trust.
Visit Okhai here, if you haven’t already, they recently launched their brand new collection!
Model: Chitrangada Chakraborty
Photographer: Kasturi Mukherjee
Stylist & Blogger: Ingela Biswas