“It’s very important that design is driven by one’s soul and a deep-rooted understanding of materials”
Chinar’s affair with design began in her childhood, when she started accompanying her mother to craft villages in India. She has a special place in her heart for traditional Rajasthani attire which shaped her understanding of design and played an important role in establishing her clothing and home textiles brand Injiri. Her products are an amalgamation of folk culture and the hard work of a talented team of karigars, a fact that she talks about to everyone she meets. She discusses her influences and inspirations as one of the contributors for Verve‘s upcoming Design issue…
Image courtesy: Dara Artisans
What led you to become a designer?
“I’ve always had a predilection for visual aesthetics which prompted me to take up a specialisation in painting at MSU Baroda. My father was in the Indian police and used to be posted in the smaller towns of Rajasthan which got me exposed to local techniques at a very young age. It strengthened my belief in the philosophy of handcrafted fashion.”
What does design mean to you? “It means working within the limitations of a particular technique to create beautiful products and allowing those methods to generate innumerable possibilities of how beauty can be achieved.”
What are some themes you explore in your work?
“I am constantly working with the idea of classicism in textiles. Whenever I work with a new print or weave, I research its origins and usage from ancient times. Invariably, timeless designs of headgears and skirts become the inspiration for my contemporary products. I am also drawn to tribal textiles that allude to a certain spontaneity.”
How has the field and its perception changed from when you started out? “In the decade since I started my brand, many designers have shown unbridled passion for working in the craft sector. I think it’s wonderful because Indian crafts need that kind of support to survive.”
What are some changes that you’d like to see in the industry? “It’s very important that design is driven by one’s soul and a deep-rooted understanding of materials rather than trends and commerce.”
What is most exciting about Indian design today? “India has always been an important country on the world map with regard to textiles. Industrialisation saw highly skilled crafts take a backseat to make way for fast fashion. However, in recent times Indian designers have revived these crafts and are working towards sustaining them which makes me very happy.”
Who are some people whose work you admire? “I admire the work of the architect Laurie Baker. He had faith in the simplicity of design and used traditional materials effectively to create beautiful spaces.”
Have you read about Valerie Barkowski from our ‘Talking Design’ series? Check it out here.