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Fashion
August 11, 2018

Bungalow 8’s Pop Up With Beej Brings Raag For The First Time To India

Text by Shubham Ladha

After several decades Raag, which is synonymous with India’s textile narrative, will exhibit its contemporary designs in Mumbai

With the intent to create fabrics with care and produce qualitative resolutions to design and detail, the Raag workshops were started in 1975 by Ahmedabad-Based Asha Sarabhai. In 1984, Issey Miyake taken by Sarabhai’s creations invited the designer, who is now in her late 60s, to launch her own label under the Miyake Design Studio (MDS) in Tokyo. Her philosophy of making things which last and give comfort has sustained the business over the years so much so that the V&A Museum in London has a permanent exhibit including some of the label’s work.

Beej, a crafts platform specialising in ‘beautiful, simple and honest products’, is bringing Raag’s craftsmanship to India for the first time as they host a pop-up at Bungalow 8. At its behest will be their Kora collection, which is created from natural, unbleached and undyed textiles.

We caught up with its designer, Ajay Mayor (Sarabhai’s nephew) to learn more about the collection.

On the inspiration behind Raag’s first collection showcase in India

“The Malevich Collection takes inspiration from the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, founder of the Suprematist movement, to reinterpret Raag classics. Placing emphasis on pure artistic feeling, as opposed to aesthetic representation, the Suprematists used basic shapes and colours in their compositions. Malevich came up with the idea behind what became the Suprematist movement while designing the sets and costumes for a Russian Opera.”

On retaining the Indian identity

“All the clothes feature signature Raag silhouettes and techniques, such as traditional appliqué work from Gujarat, adapted into tessellating geometric compositions of shapes inspired by Malevich’s works. Handloom fabrics with bold geometric Ikat patterns and graph, ginghams, and large checks were carefully picked for the collection and come from around the country. ”

On Raag’s reception in India

“We are thrilled to bring Raag to India. India’s textile heritage has been fundamental to Raag’s identity and so to have it finally available at home feels right. We have been very enthused by the response and look forward to introducing Raag to Mumbai.”

His favourite clothing from the Kora collection

“My favourite piece is the Box Pleat Coat for its effortless elegance and for the subtle details, such as the various white and cream hues of the natural fibres and the different weights of the fabrics used.”

Special art installations for the event

“The thread based, site-specific installations are inspired by Malevich’s basic geometric shapes and use the colours found in our collection. We hope to create memorable experiences around the clothes with these installations, which play with the light and invite the viewer to walk around and engage with them.”

Beej’s pop-up of Raag will be held at Bungalow 8 on 11 and 12 August 2018. The pop-up will be open from 11 am to 8 pm and will feature walk-throughs with the Beej design team at 5pm on both days.

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