By Shukla Sawant
Curator’s Note: In this design, a version of a dress by the Russian avant-garde artist Varvara Stepanova who designed clothes for working women, Shukla Sawant makes functional improvements to the kurta. It does not suffer from what a lot of designs aimed at women seem to be missing—pockets. The cuffs too, look like it could hold items. And in what looks like a statement button/brooch, we might find a version of a tie pin for a scarf. It seems to invoke the kaftans and tunics of West Asia, the Japanese haori, the Bhutanese gho, and the African boubou.
Shukla Sawant is a visual artist and Associate Professor of Visual Studies (since 2015) at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her areas of interest and specialization include contemporary art of South Asia, art in colonial India, photography and print cultures, new media practices, artists’ collectives and organizations, post-colonial criticism and historiography.