Welcome to November Noon's Thought Catalogue, a space where we talk about the subcontinent. We begin along the ghats of Banaras, meander through these streets of silk, take a train at some point to a megalopolis, corral friends, prep a sit-down meal...this is our steady stream of native consciousness.
Shah Narayan Das & Co. (our parent company) has is known for its brocade. You're leaning into the familiarity with Ekaya's handloom yardage. Generations of weaving families at work on making clothes for special occasions. Pieces constructed assiduously, meant for indulgent times.
For anyone that has brushed elbows with brocade, it is least likely to survive a 9 hour window without the zari weft getting caught on everything. So we started to think of ways to retain the sentiment but lose the structure for something a little more pliable. November Noon separates are put together piecemeal. Engineered a sleeve (or silken strap) a session to avoid fraying and the general tear with wear, we work with Tanchoi silk. Made using the same pit looms that lend heft to brocade, Tanchoi has the reflective, weightless quality of glass beads.
It's this satin finish of wafer-thin, wonderfully tactile silk (silk you can take everywhere) that modernises a hand weave to fit an urban context. We start with Walden, a line in shades that match the landscape—the colour of foliage and sunset—and silhouettes that cocoon and flutter. Modelled to inspire slow-living amidst nature, Walden takes vignettes from a kitchen garden and refines them on silk. A line of bustiers snug, slip dresses that wrap around the waist, pants that travel down the leg in easy lines, clothes you can unfold straight from the dry cleaners' and live in.
What we have done is this: stripped the surface embellishment in favour of a gently patterned weave, no hand work stands in relief on the fabric save for the occasional button along a waistline, we've concealed plackets and zippers, and neatly finished edges. The tech pack reads like all Western SeparatesTM but comes in authentic Indian SilkTM.
At November Noon, clothes are the extension of the sense-experience of being rooted here... hot, breezy, crowded India. But they're practical (under a puffer) where it snows too. It is an ongoing unraveling of special essentials that have been lavished with time, skill, and an identity that since Independence has truly been ours.
On the agenda today was the core of November Noon: silk.