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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Welcome to a block party

Welcome to a block party

Updated on: 03 March,2024 07:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shweta Shiware |

A NIFT grad’s Insta-only unisex brand unabashedly makes love to, and only to, checkerboard plaid

Welcome to a block party

Unisex Bihar multi-colour checks shirt by Kedar Maddula’s Wunderhaus Handmade label

An alarm clock has no place in Kedar Maddula’s North Goa home. The neighbourhood rooster’s strident morning cock-a-doodle-doo is his wake-up call. The founder-designer at Wunderhaus Handmade is best known for handloom textiles with a carnivalesque ode to local crafts and fabrics including Madras checks, ikats and tie-dye. “In my opinion, paisleys and Madras checks are historic. In some iteration or another, depending on size, colour and weave pattern, the Madras checks probably is India’s most recognisable fabric. In fact, convention tells us that only sarees denote Madras checks in South India, not dhotis as is popularly believed,” says Maddula, who has incorporated the pattern extensively into his past collections.  

Kedar MaddulaKedar Maddula

Handlooms tend to endure a bad rep of being dull and fusty in the younger age group but Maddula thinks he has found a  “cool handloom niche” for his Instagram-only brand. Then there’s the appeal of supporting small, independent businesses recognisable only from Instagram that makes Wunderhaus Handmade sing with a mix of audiences. Championing diversity and representation are the brand’s pillars, as Maddula actively seeks stories that reflect a wide range of everyday people and indigenous textiles. The brand’s social media page is a riotous polyphony of fashion starring shirts, co-ord sets, bomber jackets and shackets. “If you ask me [to pick between] stripes and checks, I’d say checks. Personally, I think wearing checks-on-checks is quite the combination,” says Maddula, one of the earliest graduates from the National Institute of Fashion (NIFT).

The brand’s newest drop features Goa’s indigenous Kunbi textile sourced directly from women weavers in the state. He calls it, “Madras checks of Goa”. “The idea behind T-shirts is to look beyond Kunbi’s traditional use, and introduce it to young people.”

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