When Eka designer Rina Singh visited her parents in a village in Kurukshetra, Haryana, she refused to accept gifts from relatives bought in the store. “My mother, my grandmother and my aunts sat outside in the afternoon and embroidered house linen by hand. Rajai Blankets and lace. They are ashamed to give them to me, but I tell them how I would buy them in an antique market if they didn't give them away. “Indeed, their latest Fall-Winter 2020 collection, featured at Lakme Fashion Week’s Sustainability Day on February 13th – features hand-painted and embroidered floral and geometric motifs inspired by these heirloom designs.
She takes off from her show in Telangana last year and says the new collection is a second edition using the state's hand looms. "I have given the textiles and motifs an international perspective since we will be selling them in Paris and New York," says the designer, who launched The Kurta Collection last year for the Indian market entry of the Japanese retailer Uniqlo.
Loose-cut see-through dresses, pleated skirts, box-shaped jackets and oversized pea coats in modern colors distinguish the inspired collection Little womanJo March. "I'm a big fan of the series and Saoirse Ronan (who plays the march in Greta Gerwig's film version of the novel)," says Singh, how the outfits change with the character of the march: from tomboy (voluminous pants with shorter jackets) to feminine (embroidered teardrop dresses, wool layering). She has missed typical tones such as light fuchsia, blue, mustard, etc. because they “usually respond [only] to the Indian diaspora ”. She explains how artisans tend to use these bright colors the way they see them. “To do justice to the international market, I worked with a palette of shades of blue, washed out browns and peppermint candies and translated the craft to create abstract and modern silhouettes that are not traditional ikat Patterns, ”added Singh, saying that Eka is India's first design house to work with The Wool Lab and Italian Rami Riccardo Studio to compile the 2021 forecast book and seasonal procurement guide.
As far as the fabrics are concerned, Singh has worked with double and single fabrics ikat Cluster from Kovalguddam, tussar silk with thigh roll from the cluster from Mahadevpur and cotton textiles from Narayanpet. Because of Telangana's dry climate, silk cotton is the main material they work with. “The artisans only use spun silk, which makes the fabric thicker. This is not ideal for the international market because clothes and skirts need fabrics that fall well. “For this reason, it was important to her to change the basic salary and the yarn. Singh developed silk and cotton blends, modified the yarn construction to make it lighter, and twisted the yarn before dyeing.
Rooting for sustainable
How does Singh see the future in a market full of "sustainable" brands and topics related to fast fashion and greenwashing? “Sustainability is not just for yesterday and today, it has to be forever. Regardless of which industry you belong to, there is no need to be afraid of problems and a hard dialogue is required. We need to understand that resources are limited and start living economically. Clothing is one of the biggest polluters in the fashion industry. So why get people interested in your trends that will come out next season? Instead, we just have to reinvent our outfits every season, ”says Singh. (From £ 22,000)
Others on the runway
In progress at Shades of India
50,000 crochet flowers @ Shades of India
The celebrated textile design house from Noida tells the story of crochet in its spring-inspired Crafted in Crochet collection. Design director and founder, Mandeep Nagi, explains how it took her about six months to design and create the line angrakhas, A line kurtaspajamas Dupattenand delicate saris. "Made from summery fabrics such as silk cotton, soft organdy and silk fabric, over 5,000 meters of lace and 50,000 crochet flowers have been processed by women from the Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh," added Negi and Borders. “Lace crochet flowers and pompom also make attractive additions. The lace was decorated with in many pieces zari and sparkle mukaish, traditional silver work from Lucknow. "
A creation by Ritu Kumar
Neo origami @ Ritu Kumar
This year, the Ace designer, in collaboration with the Austrian fiber brand Lenzing Ecovero, produced viscose outfits that represent tribal and contemporary Indian art forms. The AW & # 39; 20 collection titled Nature & # 39; s Origami is a culmination of four stories: Mrinalini Mukherjee's exhibition at MET, Neo Origami, Flora & Fauna and Sundarvan. “The capsule includes the manipulation of fabrics and the revival of ancient textile techniques. At the crossroads between modern chevron and classic floral, you can see laces and layered surfaces in the neo origami. Festive bliss meets wrinkles and burnout velvet and the fullness of La Dolce Vita in the potpourri of Sundarvan, ”says Kumar, whose collection contains herbal dyes in deep burgundy tones, faded ocher, violet and green tones, lace work and layered surfaces. Regarding her collaboration with Lenzing Ecovero, the designer says: “It is a good initiative to get a fabric that looks as rich as its viscose fabrics. The lace fabrics look almost like silk. I think it's a necessity to have something that doesn't have to be polyester. "
From Ashdeen's collection
Nostalgia @ Ashdeen
The textile designer, author and curator Ashdeen Lilaowala has been inspired by his own past in his new collection Memories on Cloth. “When I looked at my childhood photos, I had very good memories of how I dressed in embroidery jhablas, Then there were the costume parties at which my sister was dressed as a Parsi man and my mother dressed me in a traditional sari, ”he giggles. He reinterpreted these outfits for adults caftans and blouses with embellishments like oversized bows. "We also combine different techniques and patterns: some have polka dots, others use the crane, and a few have all motifs depicted. This was done for silk, organza and chiffon. We create the look of lace with embroidery" , adds Lilaowala. £ 28,000 for individuals and £ 1 for saris.
A creation of the House of Three
Kolams on Jamdani @ House of Three
The Bengaluru-based label has continued to integrate two states into each collection and selected Tamil Nadu and Bengal for this showcase – not least because the designers Anu Shyamsundar and Sounak Sen are from these states. “The Kumarikandam Collection is inspired by the ancient city that was discovered under the Indian Ocean and is considered the birthplace of human civilization. This is where Tamil culture came from, ”explains Sen. They worked with master weaver Rajib Debnath to create muslin Jamdani and Sathya and Santhanam from Kanchipuram and Kumbakonam for Kanjivaram Silk. "You usually see that Jamdani Pattern on Kanjivaram and Kolam Motifs on the mice, ”says Sen. £ 6,000 to £ 25,000 for Pret.
With contributions by Susanna Myrtle Lazarus
The Lakme Fashion Week sustainability day takes place on February 13th.