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Janavi – The Cashmere Queen

If possessing a cashmere or pashmina item is your ultimate luxury, then the Indian brand Janavi can help you in that marvelously

If possessing a cashmere or pashmina item is your ultimate luxury, then the Indian brand Janavi can help you in that marvelously.

You feel you have retreated into a comfortable cocoon when you wrap that cashmere or pashmina around you. Nothing beats the luxury of feeling warm, safe and cosy. If it comes in a stylish package, then nothing like it!

Cashmere is obtained from the fur of the Kashmir goat which are primarily raised in Mongolia, but many are bred in Iran, Tibet, India and China. Garments made of cashmere were once only available to royalty because the rarity of the wool increased its value. Indeed, cashmere or pashmina items are still handed down the generations as heirlooms. Owning a cashmere shawl is a sign of opulence and refinement.

The Indian story
One Indian brand, which harnesses the richness of cashmere, is Janavi. Evoking remembrances of the Ganges river through its name, Janavi aims to imitate that purity and maturity of this life source through which half of India survives. Mrs Jyotika Jhalani, President of Janavi, and the owner and designer of the brand, says, “I had always been intrigued by the evocative designs and warmth of the cashmere shawls that were passed down through generations in India.  My vision for Janavi was to create a platform to showcase designs created by skilled Indian craftsmen for the contemporary women, making a shawl an important fashion accessory in the global market.”

Creating an array of stoles, wraps, blankets, bed sheets and even saris, cashmere is the base of this brand. However, Janavi also employs materials like chiffon, velvet and Chantilly lace to heighten the royal feel of the brand – and very effectively at that! But Mrs Jhalani concurs that it’s not just the use of cashmere which grants the status of ‘luxury’ to this brand. “Our foundation for luxury certainly comes from an intense focus on weaving special fabrics. We believe that ‘Luxury’ is very much about expression and the time and effort we put into that expression. The shawls are made by craftsmen using traditional embroidery skills with modern inspiration. Our use of materials like stone and crystals and Chantilly lace are nuanced elements that allow us to express our design sensibility,” she says.

The craftsmanship of the various products is spell-binding. The roses that you see on the clutch are not attached separately, but created in that shape from that one single fabric only! You will be astounded to see stoles which have six various patterns weaved (not stitched) into one single fabric again. The needle and weaving work is what, we essentially believe, makes Janavi a delight and must-have.

This is how you wear it

One surprise product that stole our heart was the pashmina sari. This exemplary Indian garment, as the name says, is made with soft, light pashmina and combined with Chantilly lace to give it a glamourous, cocktail look. Pair it with one of their Rosette bags, and you are set for the evening. The sari is a beautiful example of how traditional materials can be given a modern interpretation. Janavi’s design and thought process is commendable!

Their velvet jackets evince this mastery over royal designs again. Apt for winters only, these jackets give the wearer a regal look which is difficult to emulate otherwise. Most of their motifs are inspired by traditional Indian design, hence, staying true to local heritage.

Mrs Jhalani reiterates the fact that they have been inspired by royal heritage more than anything: “Insofar as Indian cultural heritage is intricately linked with the concept of royalty, our design philosophy and sense of luxury is inspired from Royal India. We have developed jeweled collections, which have been influenced by royalty worldwide!” India’s colours, vibrancy, nature and people contribute to impressions that translate into inspiration for Mrs Jhalani.

Location, location, location
Getting a Janavi piece of elegance is not difficult. Their flagship store is located in DLF Emporio, New Delhi. Apart from that, they have retail presence in some of the most accessible and luxurious ambiences across the world like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman in USA; Browns in London; Ista (Amritsar), Ananda in the Himalayas and the Aman Hotel in India. They have also taken that digital step to provide their products for sale online through CoutureLab.

However, if ready-to-wear is not your prerogative ever, then creating custom-made or bespoke products is an option provided by the brand. “We can make fully bespoke products and enjoy involving our customers in the design process,” Mrs Jhalani said.

The majestic designs, divine feel of the fabric and exquisite workmanship is what defines Janavi. A pashmina shawl is considered imperative in an Indian woman’s wardrobe. We think that Janavi could well take up that position!