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Fashion
February 28, 2019

Jean Mapping: Kanika Jain of Kanelle

Text by Rushmika Banerjee. Photographed by Uma Damle. Styling by Akanksha Pandey. Make-Up and Hair by Suraj Tiwari. Models: Tashi Pedy, Sumaya Hazarika, Both at Anima Creative Management

Denim is a ubiquitous fabric whose history can be traced along the length and breadth of the globe. In part 4 of our 5 part series, Verve speaks to Kanika Jain who specialises in contemporary machine-stitched denim separates.

Specialises In: Contemporary denim separates for women made from machine-stitched denim fabric.

“The reason I chose denim is that it is a globally accepted fabric. It has an eternal quality and is not confined to one particular season. No matter how many times you wash and tatter it, the feel of the weave is still so beautiful. The way I treat it just makes it smoother and softer — whoever wears my pieces feels stylish as well as comfortable. Comfortable because of the treatment and stylish because of the silhouettes and designs.

The first time I really focussed on denim was when I started working on the collection Blue Jean Baby for New York Fashion Week’s (NYFW) September 2018 edition. Till that point, denim was a fabric that I would wear every day but never put any thought into. It’s not an easy fabric to work with, and I had inhibitions when I sourced and procured it; a lot of effort goes into understanding the yarn and the treatments that would make it more covetable. I wanted it to be a little smoother and more slouchy, but until you start to play with it you can’t be sure of the results. I had to match the feel of the denim to the kind of designs that I made, which were a bit oversized and included jackets, and skirts and trousers that were paired with slip dresses and knitted sweaters. We treated the fabric with different types of washes, created textures like yarn mesh and patchwork, and also produced fabrics from scratch. Meticulous details like fringes, twisted pleats, metallic vark prints and customised buttons made the collection functional and modern. Simple lines, nipped waists, side pockets and a certain asymmetry were key features, as was a sense of femininity. When the line was presented, it was very well-received.

I sourced machine-made fabric for Blue Jean Baby. I don’t know why designers in India don’t use it more extensively. My understanding is that pure denim fabric is a little heavy in weight, and since the weather in India is mostly tropical, designers probably don’t choose it because it is not the best fabric for our region of the world. The stylists and others that I was working with over there (New York) were very excited to see the collection and I feel that India has reached a stage where people are really paying attention to the kind of work that we are producing with textiles. Our designers have come a long way in terms of design innovation and are now respected by people all around the world.”

Read part 3 here.

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