Tia Pakhi is what you would call a green parrot in Bengali. With a name evocative of bright colors and the streets of Calcutta, Anaïs Basu's debut collection is as fascinating and full of life. Anaïs, who recently launched Tia Pakhi in Paris and Calcutta, is a french designer, in love with India and it's textile traditions and craft.
Anaïs Basu's journey in India, discovering a world full of creativity, joy, energy, hospitality and such a rich culture, began six years ago. In her own words:
It all started on my first visit to India in March 2006. After my training in fashion and textile design in Paris, I found the opportunity to come and work as a designer with a textile export-house in Kolkata. I felt immediately at home in the city. Through my work which was to create designs for embroidery for the European market, I discovered a new medium and so many new techniques and was fascinated by all the possibilities to explore. The craft which caught my eye then, and still does, is the traditional Bengali craft of Kantha, for it’s beauty in simplicity, it's texture and feel.
Few weeks after my arrival in India I met with the young Bengali man who was to become my husband some years later, and through whom I could discover the country and it’s culture more closely connected to the reality of today’s India.
I am now living between Kolkata and Paris and being in India has given me the great opportunity to develop my passion for textile design and finally launch my line of textiles for furnishing and accessories. My work is essentially dedicated to Kantha for which I had a soft corner from the time of my first visit. My research is to use the traditional craft from my adopted state of Bengal and reinterpret it with more contemporary designs and colour palette; presenting Kantha with a new fresh look and making handcrafted products reach the homes of a more diverse public. Hence the craftsmen can keep their craft alive and find opportunities to develop their skill and their economic situation.
In India, I am constantly stimulated creatively, especially in a city as vibrant and colourful as Kolkata where the traditional culture is still so present in the urban life. People, markets, architecture, food, everything is there all around calling out to you.
Tia Pakhi's line of products include home furnishings and personal accessories like small cushions, floor cushions, throws, bed-linen, table-linen, accessories and jackets. In addition, Anaïs will also have a young kids line comprising of games, kurtas, blankets and cushions and is planning to exhibit her collection in more cities soon.
You can get in touch with Anaïs via her website or via Tia Pakhi's facebook page. See more of Tia Pakhi's collection here.
[All images: Tia Pakhi]