Fashion Magazine

Made To Order: Gulshan Kolah


Custom-made garments, whether couture or everyday clothing, are a substantial part of our dressmaking historical past. Verve scouts around for Mumbai-primarily based tailors and boutiques that specialize in the artwork of bespoke garb and make it an unbroken revel in. When I first visited her residence, I was surprised by her organization’s size. Considering that she works from home, I assumed she might have a small set-up. Gulshan Kolah invites me into an extended, rectangular room with three sewing machines about 3-foot-length hole charpoy with a 1/2-embroidered white material stretched over it and a slicing table alongside the window. “For 15 years, I have had this team of tailors running for me,” she informs us.

Made To Order: Gulshan Kolah 1

“I learned the artwork of pagri-making for my very own wedding. Kolah is a well-known fashion designer in the Parsi network and the move-to man or woman for bridal saris. She creates them in a spread of fabrics — chiffon, georgette, lace — alongside the blouses, dresses, and the sure (a nonsecular undergarment)

as well as parts for the groom. The park is the headgear worn by Zoroastrian guys during their weddings and social activities. It looks like a pillbox hat without a brim and fabric draped over the crown. My husband desired one because he didn’t need to wear an apheta resembling a bowler hat.

This was in 1983, and we deliberated on getting married for the next 12 months. I discovered how to make the paghri from the last of the pagri-makers, who was almost ninety years antique. He became known as Nariman Pagri Wala and was approximate to close keep then. He was too vintage to educate, but I requested him to observe and learn how to make a paghri. I used to head there when he changed into working, and sooner or later, with several exercises, I made the primary one for my husband. Then my friends asked me approximately it at the wedding, and that’s after I started making parts,” recalls 60-year-old Kolah.

Kolah could make outfits for her family and pals as a teen. Later, she started making the park and moved directly to embroidered saris for weddings and social gatherings. Since weddings in India are seasonal, the wide variety of orders varies over the 12 months. Kolah plans her time efficiently — in the marriage season, the paintings on custom orders, and all through the low season, she creates saris for her in-residence series. She keeps them equipped in case a patron is searching for something urgently.

Today, the most thrilling part of her task is to assemble the bride. “We show her our line of equipped-made bridal saris first. Sometimes she chooses from the gathering, after which we make a dress, a shirt, and a sure-to-suit. Since this undergarment is seen, we make a particular one for each sari. This is the clean element. Often humans include an idea, after which we make 3 to 4 swatches.

Once the embroidery design is finalized, we choose the material and the blouse design. We also have to ensure the layout is not too scarce as the bride can be sporting it in a nonsecular location. This system takes at least three months because we do around two to a few trials. If it’s something difficult, then it takes longer. Sometimes we’ll make a small envelope take hold of to fit the sari.”

The second time I went over, I saw her workshop on movement. Four karigars sit on four sides of the charpoy, patiently embroidering sequins onto the white cloth. A tailor on the stitching machine stitches a white beaded blouse, and any other operates on a dusty purple one. The beads are aligned flawlessly on the bust seams, and the shirt has a gentle inner lining. The crimson blouse has tone-on-tone embroidered vegetation and sheer sleeves. Kolah also pulls out a white lehenga (which she had designed for her daughter) and saris, one salmon purple and the other mint green. “Clients come to me now not best for weddings but other events too, such as Navjotes, anniversaries, and birthdays. The Navjote rite is a ritual thru which a man or woman is inducted into the Zoroastrian faith. We make quite an attire for young girls for this.”

Parsi Gara embroidery is one of the finest, and Kolah rarely takes it on. “It works out to be very luxurious,s and there aren’t quite a few karigars who can do this kind of stitch. We undertake it only if the purchaser is ready to give us time and spend anything it prices. Clients ask us to make a kurta or a blouse,e and we take around six months to create the piece. We have one or two karigars who can do that most effectively,” she says regretfully.

Kolah confirmed one of the original garage embroidered saris she has in her series. It is beautiful, black with white floral embroidery around the threshold. “If you look at the paintings carefully, the threads here are so closely stitched together that you couldn’t explain the distinction between a genuine garage and an imitation completed on the device. There are many replicas available inside the marketplace that the craft has misplaced its fee. Sadly, however, the whole thing isn’t always authentic garage work,” explains Kolah.

She also suggests a cherry red pre-stitched sari — the pleats within the front and at the shoulder are sewn collectively to simplify draping. “A pre-stitched sari is what a bride needs in recent times. She doesn’t want to deal with the fuss of fixing the drape every few seconds,” concludes Kolah. She may not refer to herself as a business lady. However, her attention to elements genuinely makes her an informed fashion designer.

Dean Hart
the authorDean Hart
I am a fashion and beauty blogger on, and I love sharing beauty tips, fashion trends, and lifestyle inspirations on the site.