Avni Bhuva is a trained fashion designer who works only with the best quality natural fabrics - pure silks, tussar silks, maheshwaris, crepe de chine, georgettes and chiffons. Her sarees and outfits are block-printed and screen-printed by hand. Sometimes, they are also hand-painted. Avni designs her own print blocks, often preferring simple geometricals, florals and traditionally well-loved motifs. She also hunts for wooden blocks featuring interesting designs from traditional textile craftspersons.
Over the last few years, Avni has built up a formidable resource network of expert traditional hand embroiderers (resham and mukhaish), weavers, dyers, printers with whom she works to plan and design the most exciting collections of elegant sarees, salwar-kameez-dupatta sets, kurti-pant-scarf/stole sets, Indo-Western outfits, scarves, stoles, silk brocade batwas that are presented twice every year. Avni designs both traditional Indian wear as well as Indo-Western outfits and accessories. Her classic ensemble design of a shirt with matching stole/scarf in crepe de chine continues to be a rage with the young as trendy party wear. The salwar-kameez and kurti-pant sets with matching dupatta and stole are also available as unstitched material.
Though Avni loves to work with basic, muted and neutral colours that always make her ensembles look strikingly beautiful, her recent work in brighter colours as well as pastels has appealed to many. Hema Malini chose one of her sarees (in turquoise) to wear in "Baghban" while Shabana Azmi is an Avni regular for her basic colour range designed to look rich in an understated kind of way to make the ensemble stand out in a dignified manner. Avni also works with clients to design sarees as per their preferences. This exclusive confidence is strictly maintained and the selected/coordinated design is never printed twice. Avni also designs especially for the Garden Silkline range of sarees only available at their exclusive outlet in Mumbai.
Last year, Avni introduced a Home Linen line under the name, Aarya. As of now, this includes table linen, runners, tablecloths and cocktail napkins, available in silk and cotton. Recently, Aarya was short-listed and then selected to provide the table linen for actor Aamir Khan's new home.
By Sandhya Bordawekar