The virtue of work was born in Gulab Bai’s hands. Her slim fingers, like threads of zari, would always be seen in motion either building a maze of crochet with her much treasured needles or translating the geometric ideas in her head into different ‘mandana’ designs on the veranda. Naina Jain grew up in the adoring presence of Gulab Bai, and she had never seen her grandmother’s hands still or her feet tired. She was perpetually in a state of movement. She sheathed her body in light Kota Doria Sarees before the sun rays touched her skin. These cotton sarees woven with pure zari soon became recognised as Gulab Bai’s go to style. She diminished the idea of dressing for an occasion and replaced it with her signature fashion sense. She graced weddings and the celebrations of loved ones, wearing her simple Kota Doria drape and an aura so charismatic that it was hard to miss her. This deeply influenced her favourite granddaughter, Naina, who adapted beloved Gulab Bai’s aesthetic sense into her own love for textiles. On her engagement day, Naina Jain wore a striking, red kota doria sari, an epitome of the bond she shared with her grandmother.
Gulab Bai was a woman who lived through her craft and passed it on to her daughters and granddaughters like her proud heritage. Our range of Kota Doria Sarees is more than an ode to this lovely lady. Every weave that makes up this collection is a pure labour of the love that Naina feels for her grandmother, who unknowingly sowed the seeds of the textile craft in Naina Jain.
This is Naina Jain’s personal revolution to break the perception of conventional bridalwear. Inspired by the aesthetics of Gulab Bai, these drapes have been woven with both the simplicity and grandeur of Rajasthani traditions which carry the richness fit for a bride. The collection finds its roots in Kota and have been crafted with techniques that have been practised and passed down through decades. Each saree is a distinctive combination of bandhani patterns and kota weaving with pure silver(chandi) threads.
Having been born and brought up in the city of Kota, Naina grew up seeing weavers practicing this craft around her home. Bringing this craft to the world in the Naina Jain style was an intuitive decision. In a dedicated attempt at achieving the perfect geometric pattern, the sarees have been woven to reflect the precision of Gulab Bai’s nimble fingers. Light pastels such as powder pink and lemon yellow and sharp hues such as pinks, reds and sky blues set the palette for the Gulab Bai range – lustrous tones, which when set against the skin, bring out the vibrancy of a woman.
Gulab Bai lived to the ripe old age of 97, bustling with energy every step of the way. The memories of this incredible woman have been cherished and rejuvenated across the length of every drape in this collection. These are not sarees – they are fabrics of an immortal inheritance.
Access full collection here.