The Atelier Team

Dream Team. L to R - Chandra, Bala, Danasu, Shilpa, Kavitha, Wanitha, Prema, Rukmani, Arumugam & Raj

I was only given a limited number of passes to the Pondicherry Fashion Week. Of course, I invited many of my local clients, but I also felt it was a great chance for the team to see their work on the runway. We made sure that everyone in the atelier who wanted to come received a pass. Not everyone could make it, but here we all are at the Fashion Week!

Ruk-akka at work.

Rukmani-akka is our embroidery mistress, and is one of the earliest members of my atelier family. We have worked together for almost 20 years. ("Akka" is the tamil suffix to respectfully indicate that someone is an older sister.)

Her gentle nature, poise and refined sensibility make her a delightful person to be around. Her expertise at her craft make her an irreplaceable asset at work.

Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, learning and culture. In my eyes, Rukmani-akka embodies the spirit of Saraswati.

Pattern Master Danasu at his pattern table

A relatively recent member of the team, Danasu has only been with us for over 10 years :-). His mastery of pattern making is just the tip-of-the-iceberg of Danasu's talents. A multi-tasker, he has the ability to take on many administrative responsibilites. He can be counted on to take tasks to completion!

I also rely on his advice for our Couture-sur-Mesure (bespoke-tailored) pieces. The small changes that he suggests, result in a perfectly fitting piece and a delighted client!

Photography by Mathilde Hauser, Ankit Banerjee