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Dastkar Design Fair: Designers to look out for 2

First things first…A big thank you to all our lovely readers for the most overwhelming response for our post yesterday. The designers featured in yesterday’s post are so very grateful for all your love and now they look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the design fair in Delhi. I thoroughly recommend a visit to the Dastkar Design Fair for meeting the brains behind the label; this face-to-face meeting is something that you may not get when buying their pieces at the store, hence why a visit to the fair is the best idea ever!

Today, we continue with some more love for the amazing talent at the fair held at Andheria Modh in New Delhi. So, here we go, enlightening you about some more designers and their ‘out of this world’ work. Read away:

Organic Connect by Tanveen Ratti

Organic Connect was started in 2009 by Tanveen Ratti, a graduate of NIFT, New Delhi. Having undertaken various government-sponsored projects in design development by traveling to crafts centres, Tanveen’s work was greatly appreciated, especially by Purnima Rai of Kamala, the retail face of Crafts Council of India. Encouraged by the response, Organic Connect was born, taking up the challenge to start production with the base being rural Uttar Pradesh, the hub of block carving and carpentry skills. Since then, Organic Connect undertakes special collaborations as they work on a profit-sharing basis between the artisans group as producers and Organic Connect as designer and seller. Immensely inspiring, isn’t it?

Organic Connect has been a regular at Dastkar since 2010 and has always enjoyed the experience of meeting new people and gathering feedback to apply back to products they design, thereby consistently designing products that appeal to the buyers. The highlight at the Dastkar Design Fair this year would be the Tea Collection and the Sooraj Mukhi Collection. The Tea Collection is a concept for slow living in the fast paced urban lives – it is a collection of products around daily rituals like tea-times, meal-times and entertaining at home. It is a set of three categories: Tea Time, Dinner, Servers and the Bar. The Sooraj Mukhi collection’s signature is a traditional motif that has been used on home accent products, especially furniture.

If this exotic description has made you wonder about the affordability quotient, well, let me tell you that it is reasonably priced as the products are designed for daily use; packaged solutions for modern living as they like to call them. Hence the price range is suited to most of our pockets (from about INR 500 to INR 3500). You can even own a stylish piece of their furniture for as little as INR 25,000; now, that’s all worth going to the design fair for, isn’t it?

Organic Connect’s products can also be found at their collection at the Kamala shop, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, at Tarini, Galleria Gurgaon and at Indian August, Sector 18, NOIDA; not just this, they have also created some special pieces for Fabindia, which can be found at Fabindia’s outlets. However, there is nothing quite like meeting the creators, the designers and listening to their stories…all this will make the visit to the fair so much more worthwhile. So, go treat yourself and your home to something nice, shopping at the fair, of course!

Elegant wooden trays exemplifying crafting excellence and quality
Elegant wooden trays exemplifying crafting excellence and quality


Hand crafted excellence by Organic Connect - perfect for the little storage needs
Hand crafted excellence by Organic Connect – The Tea Collection, perfect for little storage needs
With a setting like this, who wouldn't look forward to dinner times with family?
With a setting like this, who wouldn’t look forward to dinner times with family?

Peoli by Abhinav and Vasanthi

Born from a strong love of nature, local resources and more significantly from a deep belief of celebrating and engaging indigenous skills, Peoli was founded by Abhinav and Vasanthi and chooses to focus on creating simple functional products with minimal aesthetics; these products have been derived and created using the local skills and resources of natural materials and dyes for the conscientious customer.

The clothing and related accessories created by Peoli are unique and stunningly handcrafted to reflect style as well as comfort for men, women and children. Beautifully handmade apparel includes a range of shawl wraps, kimono cardigans, snood scarves and a variety of woolen accessories for all you women out there. These can be worn for just a normal working day or accessorised up for an evening out!

Though, I must stress that Peoli doesn’t just cater for women alone. You will have the opportunity to shop for your entire family here; so, go on…treat the men in your life to some very stylish jumpers and the children (especially the 4 – 7 years old) to some woolen tunics and dresses, that are made out of pure spun wool that is first naturally dyed and then hand knitted into stunning outfits! How rare and precious is such a find in the present times! So, do not miss this golden opportunity to treat everyone special in your life to a very special Peoli piece…hurry up, it’s still cold and chilly out there; so, make the most of this weather. I suppose that at this point it would be only fair to mention the price of these goodies. Well, it starts at a very reasonable INR 2,000 and the highest priced piece is marked at INR 7,500. Not bad, do I hear you whisper?

I must quickly warn you that your only opportunity to buy their creations is essentially by visiting fairs and exhibitions and the one to aim for in the near future is, of course, the Dastkar Design Fair in Delhi. So, get all excited to meet Abhinav and Vasanthi, alumni of the National Institute of Design at the fair; perhaps hear stories of the hills of Uttarakhand and bring home one of their brilliantly crafted piece, to be yours, forever! If for some reason you are unable to get yourself to the fair, then look for updates of their upcoming fairs and exhibitions by clicking here.  Also, you can pre-order or buy online from their website, but nothing does beat talking to the creators and then buying a product with a soul-touching story.

For the love of nature and local resources - well crafted hand knits by Peoli
For the love of nature and local resources – well crafted hand knits by Peoli
Some more gorgeousness from Peoli...find these and more at the Dastkar Design Fair
Some more gorgeousness from Peoli…find these and more at the Dastkar Design Fair

Charcoal by Vineet Rahul

Time to talk about some more gorgeousness…This label, started in 2011 is an initiative by Vineet Kataria and Rahul Arya, alumni of the Department of Fashion and Textiles, NIFT, New Delhi. This designer duo are inspired by a self- motivated and a self-learning approach towards the research and development of the Indian art and crafts for a contemporary world. It’s not only about designs but a larger  program that focuses to uplift various crafts and communities like hand block prints, hand embroideries and traditional weaves to offer an unconventional aesthetic, keeping traditional modes of development alive.

When you get yourself to their stall at the Dastkar Design Fair, you will find a collection that is a textural play of khadis and chanderis with contemporary hand block prints and embroideries that are well suited for the modern lives. The palette used is aimed to skilfully transform you from the fall to the approaching spring-summer season and in doing so creates and sets the mood on a dramatic note. You can expect to pay anything between INR 2,500 and INR 10,000 for their stunningly created pieces.

So, browse through their collection as well as have a personal chat with these very talented designers or, you can make your way to stores such as ‘Anantam’ to shop for their products. The choice, of course as always is yours but I can’t recommend enough, you physically going to Dastkar; it’ll be worth every second of your time!

A glimpse into some of the past works by Vineet-Rahul
A glimpse into some of the past work by Vineet-Rahul

Sufi Kadeem Shawls by Saleem

A twenty year old family business revived with new design sensibilities and creativity, Sufi Kadeem Shawls is represented by artisan-designer Saleem from Srinagar. He grew up watching his grandfather and father work on looms to create beautiful shawls and stoles out of pashmina. This imprinted in him a passion and drive to revive his family business by infusing new energy and design trends to the age-old craft of pashmina weaving. I am so glad he did, ‘cos now people like you and me can treat ourselves to his very, very pretty sarees, shawls and waistcoats. Thank you, Saleem!

For the Dastkar Design Fair, Saleem has worked on a stunning collection that blends two crafts – Pashmina and Ikat weaving. Who doesn’t love Ikat, and then to have it in a soft, warm pashmina; it is something that sounds irresistible, doesn’t it? In addition to shawls, stoles and scarves in GI tagged pure pashmina, you can expect to find pashmina sarees, waistcoats and other pashmina blended products. Connoisseurs of pashmina would understand the reason for higher price points, but don’t let this deter you. You can get yourself a beautiful pure pashmina from as little as INR 3,000.

The Pashmina Ikat Collection for the Dastkar Design Fair - Sarees, shawls and scarves
The Pashmina Ikat Collection for the Dastkar Design Fair – Sarees, shawls and scarves
The Pashmina Artisans in Kashmir at work for the stunning collection at Dastkar Design Fair
The Pashmina Artisans in Kashmir at work for the stunning collection at Dastkar Design Fair

As I have said before, that the best way for you to own such ‘prettiness’ is to make your way to the Dastkar Design Fair, meet the very talented Saleem, have a touch and feel of his beautiful creations, listen to the stories behind his creations and then make your way back home with a piece that you will treasure and love for life.

As always, if you can’t make your way to the fair, then you can still have the opportunity to buy their products from and craftisan.inHowever, we do urge you to go in person and have a feel of the luxurious ikat pashminas that are on display. Just in case, you are unable to meet the very talented Saleem, please do not hesitate to get in touch with him on: +91-9086584744.

You can also look forward to meeting some more talented people from the beautiful land of Kashmir:

Just writing about all this talent and gorgeousness, is very humbling! Can you even begin to image what the experience would be like when you are physically present at the fair, in the company of these talented designers and in the midst of all their products that have been lovingly created, with a passion to keep the traditions alive in these modern times?

I wish you all a lovely time at the Dastkar Design fair and can I take the liberty to remind you to do your ‘teeny bit’ to make this event a roaring success, while treating yourself to some ‘heavenly shopping time‘ too…well, after all, you are notjustashopper, you are so much more….

XO, Nupur

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  1. Hi , i am manjunath from bangalore, i design ladies funky cloths with tie and dye and block printed fabrics. Pls check my Facebook page at fusion by manjunath. I did kalaghoda show in bombay, and i sell mt stuff even in goa flea market. i am very interested to take part in your show.please let me know how to go about it . Thank you

    1. Hello Manjunath,

      Apologies for the delay in replying. We are currently not involved in organising any fairs/shows. The Dastkaar Design fair that we wrote about was organised by Dastkaar and you can get in touch with them, if you want to be involved for the next show.

      We would be happy to contact you, when we do move to hosting our own events/ exhibitions / fairs.

      Wishing you the best always,