Indian Fashion Police

Honest opinion about the Indian Fashion Scenario

Sanchali – Vintage meets Contemporary [May 2011]

Posted by Indian Fashion Police on May 6, 2011

My favourite thing to do whenever I am in India is to flip thru the pages of a newspaper or magazines and get to know things which are new here. That is exactly when I came across Dakshayini Gowda’s creations in which she had beautiful jewelery out of old, unused material. A piece of embroidery was a contemporary earring, the saree zari was made into an eye-catching neckpiece, pendants created out of Indian brocade…… that’s what I call creativity.

Imagine an old Benarsi saree of your mum……….hmmm ok grand-mom which has elaborate work all over but now you don’t find it too fascinating to wear or maybe it got damaged…………what would you do with it??? Ideally anyone of us might end up giving it away or throwing it. But have we ever given it a thought that this valuable saree might make the most beautiful piece of jewelery you might ever possess???? That’s exactly what Dakshayini did……………….and voila here she is as ‘Find of the month’ on Indian Fashion Police.

Sanchali started by Dakshayini Gowda is not just into Hand-crafted jewelery but also into personal accessories, Art revival and educating the children from various schools about it. Dakshayini who has single-handedly initiated ‘Sanchali’,  has managed to fuse the vintage with the new style. She has done her masters in Archealogy & Museology from Maharaja Sayaji Rao University in Baroda, Gujarat…………..this talented young lady is skilled in making Clay models, Plaster casting, Fibre glass work, Painting, Metal casting, rubber moulding. Not only that, she also knows the traditional crafts back of her hand like Batik printing, Paper Mache, Textile printing, Leather Puppetry, Terracotta, Traditional Indus Valley bead making………………the list is endless such a talent powerhouse she is…………..And I can hardly scribble few lines on the canvas let alone create something pleasing to the eye……………..sigh. Need to take lessons from Dakshayini…….

Here’s a look at one of her collections which are made of recycled and eco-friendly material like cloth, beads, sequins, seeds etc. Her collection is inspired by nature, temple and places in India like Varanasi.

I have been fortunate enough to interact with upcoming talent of my country…………last month it was Divya Thomas of ‘Karma Suthra’, this month it is Dakshyini Gowda. Here’s my interaction with Dakshayini about ‘Sanchali’

Q & A with Dakshayini Gowda, Creator of Sanchali


1)    What inspired you to start off with ‘Sanchali’???

Dakshayini : I think it’s my educational qualification that helped me get inspired. I have done my Bachelors in fine arts, Masters in Museology and Archaeology. During my studies I travelled a lot to villages and saw the talent that women had………..more often they created amazing items out of leftovers.

My Bachelors degree helped me in designing and creation of jewelry with woman from rural villages. My Masters degree helped me in shaping out workshops for children from rural areas of India. In my course I had the opportunity of working with craftsmen to produce Indus valley pottery, textile, beads in the way people did back then around 2500bc…in the traditional way. Lots of interesting facts of that period is often not told in schools & in most part history is considered boring. So to break that I have this interactive sessions where children learn about history heritage in a very fun-filled way by playing games and other activities related to the topic of display.

I worked in Auroville for a 1 year and from there I was sent to Varanasi to work with village women on craft. With that experience of working in rural area I got back to Bangalore and started on my own project and called it Sanchali which means ‘movement’ in Sanskrit because it is the concept of a travelling museum where this workshop is taken to different schools in rural areas. These are free workshops and hence the jewelry making with women was started in which women get benefits and the sale gives us money to fund these school workshops.

2)    Was the start difficult since you had to travel to rural villages for creating your designs???

Dakshayini : Yes it was even though I worked with a local NGO. I have trained at least 60 women and I found 10 women working for me. I had to win their trust sometimes had to convince their families. Women in that area are not allowed to step out of the house to work. So all my training was at their doorstep……………. We supply them with the material and bring the finished products from their homes. Their families had to be  convinced.

But now it’s been over a year and lots more want to join us.

3)    ‘Eco-friendly’ is still a ‘new’ concept with which people still need getting used to……… would you say it helped you in creating new things???

Dakshayini : I think the concept of re cycling has been part of our age-old traditions. I learnt it from my grandmother……………..she used to use dried seeds to make flowers. Even now in the villages you still find women creating so many things without any design background.

Eco friendly products are catching up…………….people now are conscious about what they buy and what it supports. In fact I have been getting good feed backs that it inspires me to work on more designs.

4)    Anyone in particular you would love to see wearing a Sanchali Jewellery.

Never really thought about it  but when i did ….i figured lots in particular Priyanka Gandhi, Shabana Azmi, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Rao, Bipasha Basu…n the list goes on!!!!

5)    Where have you displayed your creations in India???? From which stores can we buy ‘Sanchali’ products??

 Dakshayini : In Bangalore at store called ‘Levitate’, Ambara andOrange bicycle. [Address given below]

Levitate : Mezzanine floor, 100 feet boutique restaurant 777-i, 100 feet road, Indira Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038

Ambara : 119, Annaswamy Mudaliar Road, Ulsoor, near Lakeside Hospital, Bangalore – 560042

The Orange Bicycle : House No : 3353, 5th Cross12th “A” Main , HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore-560038

In Mumbai: Loose ends and OMO

Loose ends : Shop No.1, A.N. House, 31st Road, Lane opposite Shoppers Stop, Next to Cambridge, Bandra-West, Mumbai – 400050

OMO: 204, Sagar Fortune, Waterfield Road, Bandra(W), Mumbai – 400014

In Delhi: O-layla

O-layla : 21, Hauz Khas Village,New Delhi, India – 400016

Abroad a fair trade company in USA and LONDON

 I hope Dakshayini goes on to cover not just India, but the entire world with her creations……………One word which best describes ‘Sanchali’ – ‘Beauty with a cause’…………….so if you are looking out for jewelery which are eco-friendly yet fashionable………’Sanchali’  is your destination. Do visit the official webpage at or click on the link below for  the ‘Sanchali’ facebook webpage!/pages/Sanchali/90674883574

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