A mango yellow-green Rajkot patola silk saree with zari kaddhi border for the engagement; a burgundy-colored Banarasi silk saree for bridal shower; or a blue Kanchipattu with beautiful paisley design jaal in thread work and bottle green brocade with a floral border for D-day… Different sarees for different occasions, and one shopping destination, that’s Kalanjali -- a journey of discovery into the treasure trove of India’s handloom and handicraft tradition. Launched by the Ramoji Group of Hyderabad in November 1992, Kalanjali is a celebration of art and beauty. Imagine a graceful South Indian saree, and the picture is incomplete without a reference to Kalanjali. Kalanjali Arts & Crafts is a part of the Ramoji Group from Andhra Pradesh. The Parent Group’s business interests include publishing, film production and distribution, film studios, satellite television, financial services, hospitality and tourism processed foods and handlooms.
Kalanjali is one of its kinds to showcase the essence of superior Indian skills in the area of art & crafts and handloom traditions. “Genuineness and reliability are our strengths. We are probably one of the only stores to guide our customers as to what is 100% pure and what is not. In spite of competition we have strongly stood where we are,” says Ms Shailaja Rao, Deputy General Manager, Kalanjali. Their flagship store at Jayanagar, Bangalore has sarees for all occasions, salwar suits, and kids wear. The smaller yet smarter Kalanjali Ultimo at Mantri Square, Bangalore has a complete range of party and bridal wear sarees, kurtis and salwar suits.
Exquisite Weaves from across India
Pochampally, Kalamkari, Coimbatore Silk, Mysore Silk, Kanchipuram, Banarasi, bridal wear… each has a dedicated section. “We are known as India under one roof. We source from weaving centres across India, constantly travelling extensively and go directly to the weavers, eliminating middlemen. Our sourcing is our major strength,” explains Ms Shailaja.
Kalanjali sarees are a medley of designs that enhance the beauty and poise of a woman. The intricate workmanship embodies the subtlety and elegance of the rich traditional craftsmanship. “Our exposure to fashion is immense. We adapt trends in a more suitable form... we see what is suitable to an Indian woman, and experiment with colours to suit our skin tones. We don’t do a fuchsia just because America does it,” asserts Ms Shailaja.
What’s up this Festive Season?
So what’s gonna be your pick from Kalanjali this festive season? Well, they have an eclectic mix of it all. A lot of shading, multi dying and lace is happening. Mix and match of tradition and modern is taken to a new level at Kalanjali. Check out their embroideries on silks this season. And this time, they are concentrating on stylized blouses, skirt borders and lovely ghaghra styled sarees and half sarees. There is plenty of Zardozi, kundan, stone & cut work happening. And while asymmetrical cuts are in for Ladies Wear, Kalanjali doesn’t believe in going over the top. “We believe in wearability and comfort. Our clothes are not only for ramp shows; we want people to be comfortable in what they wear,” says Ms Shailaja.
“People are certainly spending a lot more on marriages now. Whether it is Sangeet or Mehndi, the functions are now very much a part of South Indian weddings. While there may be impromptu buying in the mid segment throughout the year, for weddings and festive occasions, there is more of pre-planned and organized buying happening,” says Ms Shailaja and adds, “Fashion is changing very rapidly today - If the trend now is of net half and half, tomorrow it’s something else. People do not want to repeat and want to only wear the latest. They have become very selective about what they choose. The customer today is very tough to satisfy, but then that’s the challenge we take up and deliver,” she signs off with an eloquent smile.