India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Fashion
December 31, 2019

Think Twice

Styling by Ojas Kolvankar

‘Fashion with function’ is the mantra of modern style, and Verve gets five original minds to describe how they reframed the standard avatars of traditional attire and cast them in a contemporary mould

JODHPURS

“Synonymous with the polo lifestyle of Jodhpur, breeches owe their genesis to the Blue City. From there, they were introduced to the West circa the mid-1800s. Breeches are the most appropriate item of clothing to be paired with the bandhgala, and this look has now become a trademark of our brand. Incidentally, 25 years ago, the brand showcased its first collection at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and celebrated the significance of breeches by pairing them with women’s bandhgalas as well. The versatility of breeches allows them to be dressed up or down, by pairing them with kurtas, waistcoats, shirts or, if carried off well, simply a T-shirt. Its relevance in today’s style landscape cannot be negated.”

– Raghavendra Rathore, Founder, Raghavendra Rathore

VEIL

“Veiling is such a contentious issue today. It’s used as a political tool by humans — regardless of their personal politics — with women of colour not being included in veiling legislations in the West. I make sexless forms, and even in my new line, Volume 2, the veil caps off the fabric columns. It’s not fashion in my work. It’s garment-making combined with anthropological studies. I have been researching extensively on the Nawa region of Africa since 2012, and one of the subsets of my research is on the custom of wearing veils. Not enough people are aware of the fact that it predates Islam. The pictured garment is a part of my 2018 collection titled Volume 1. The work was a continuation of taking shapes native to the regions of Nawa and the Korean Peninsula and introducing distortion into them while creating a templated wardrobe.”

– Kallol Datta, Founder, Kallol Datta 1955

KHADAU

“Khadaus, or one-toe sandals, have been a part of the Rajesh Pratap Singh design vocabulary since 1999. The idea was conceptualised when some of my friends sent me images from Roopkund in Uttarakhand, where wooden khadaus were found intact and there have been discoveries of people climbing glaciers while wearing them in the olden days. They always fascinated me and were one of the first types of footwear for both men and women that we made in a modern context, and we still continue to do versions of them. Khadaus have been part of the Indian wardrobe for centuries, and we are offering contemporary interpretations of them in our stores.”

– Rajesh Pratap Singh, Founder, Rajesh Pratap Singh

CUMMERBUND

“In Indian culture, wearing a cummerbund on your wedding day is considered auspicious because it protects you from the evil eye and provides positive energy. It is also considered a symbol of prosperity and wealth. Indian history has always been an important source of inspiration for us, and the cummerbund is a significant part of the bride’s 16 adornments (Solah Shringar); it accentuates the waistline and keeps the outfit centrally aligned. While designing it, we try to enhance the beauty of the jewellery piece by incorporating some modern motifs.”

– Tarang Arora, CEO, Amrapali Jewels

ANGRAKHA

“An angrakha is an ancient item of clothing that has been used in different parts of the world for centuries and depicted in many art forms. The unisex garment usually has an overlapping open front, with a fastening on one or both sides. The open silhouette serves many practical purposes; for instance, the inside pocket acts as a wallet. As students at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (NID), we often visited The Calico Museum of Textiles, where the angrakhas on display vary from silk brocades to hand-quilted cottons in different lengths and forms. Growing up in rural Rajasthan, I was also exposed to alternates of the angrakha such as the bagalbandi and kediyu worn by native communities. In my work, I seek inspiration from local silhouettes; there is immense character in the shape of an angrakha, and we make the garment modern and relevant by using soft, lightweight textiles.”

– Chinar Farooqui, Founder, Injiri

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