A look at the contemporary, everyday wear lines that two desi labels are bringing to the city
Summer is at hand in India and that means it is time to bask in the coolness of cotton. One of the best ways to do that is to wear handloom, especially fabrics such as khadi.
That’s what designer Nehal Desai, with her eponymous label is, offering in collaboration with Puja Sahney’s Navika at their upcoming clothing showcase at Raintree.
“What we are trying to say is that we need to wear more cotton. We are presenting a range of garments in soft fabrics, including everyday clothing, contemporary clothing and workwear. Having worked with typical Indian shades of white, black, and red ikat we are now playing around with our basic handlooms and moving into a more global colour palette.”
Navika is bringing dresses, tunics that can be doubled as dresses, pants (cigarette and gaucho) as well as salwar suits and office wear in handloom fabrics such as khadi, ikat and mangalgiri.
“We have played around with elements such as chequered gingham borders in Indian neutral colours such as ochre yellow and maroon. These can be teamed with a lot of other items and accessories in your wardrobe. This time we have introduced a lot of anti-fit, mid-thigh clothing and traditional ‘frocks’ in mangalgiri, which we paired with some organdie at the bottom,” says Puja.
“We have also brought in clothes that are fitted at the shoulder, the mid-chest region, and flow down from there. Another interesting element is our new My kinda gypsy range. These are basically fine cotton dresses, we have used ethnic motifs, graphic design elements, Native American, tribal bohemian Navajo, Indian, Peru, Aztec styles of embroidery and tiny tasselled details to bring out the embellishments on solid colour cotton dresses.”
The twist, she says, is that they are bringing it to Raintree in a skeleton form.
“You’re free to customise each garment according to taste. Whether you want to wear it as a tunic, a kurta or a dress, we will customise any piece and send it back to you.”
Label Nehal Desai, on the other hand, will present two lines of clothing — one, featuring Ajrakh prints from Kutch on mulmul cottons and the other, featuring plain khadi clothing in bright colours such as blue, yellow and off-white,” explains Nehal, adding that the label is known for its contemporary handloom clothing.
“We have collaborated with Navika because they are also into khadi and cotton clothing and we also cater to the age group of 25-30 and upwards. We get our woven fabrics developed by weavers from across the country. The clothing is practical yet stylish.”
Puja points out that the global fashion staple now includes draped pants, such as the Japanese boro pants, for instance.
“We have named all our dresses after Indian or Buddhist names, which became a talking point at our other expos. We are celebrating Indian-ness throughout. One of the signature pieces in our collection is a double-layered tunic in ochre, leaf-green (Charusheela),” she explains.
“While our clothing is more fluid and poetic, Nehal’s design sensibility is more eclectic, her cuts are sharper. She plays well with prints. The thread that connects both our clothing lines is handloom — in Western wear.”
Another of Navika’s USPs, Puja adds, is still their vast size range featuring 16 sizes meant for a whole spectrum of body types.
“It doesn’t mean that the same garment looks different in different sizes. The flow and the silhouettes are always balanced and are carried the same way across sizes.”
Nehal Desai and Navika (Puja Sahney) will showcase their collections on April 20 and April 21 at Raintree, No. 4, Sankey Road, opposite ITC Windsor. For details, call 9177309777 / 9825714940.