NAMRATA JOSHIPURA is a darling of the red carpet. Her slinky dresses and blouses, with sequins that may just be a discreet slash or emblazoned across the arm or collar, are a staple in fashion forward wardrobes across the country. They belong to Bollywood celebrities as well, from Kareena Kapoor to Kangana Ranaut and Shraddha Kapoor. But this weekend, when Delhi-based Joshipura makes her annual visit to Chennai, she is probably going to leave the sequins behind. For Joshipura knows how steaming hot our city can get, and is therefore equipped with a spring/summer line of dresses, dhoti pants, capes and gilets that are “light on the body and light visually.” The colour palette ranges from pastels to deep orange, yellow and aqua, with oriental floral prints, and even a take on shibori and indigo. There is a nod to an earlier Instalight Lakme collection, with wave and floral trellis patterns. And the fabrics are breezy, from chiffon and georgette to a jersey so soft you’d want to work out in it. Or so Joshipura promises.
But the surprise element this time are the khadi tunics. And the gilets and sleeveless jackets that the holiday crowd and global traveler will want to invest in. “It is more occasion wear than everyday wear, but my regulars will love the jumpsuits with net in the back and a cowl-like lower pant. And the peplum tops,” insists the designer, who is also a long distance runner and has plans for an activewear line later this year. It will be a welcome change from the one-dimensional clothing most sports companies put out for the gym tribe and for runners. Having participated in the Benaras weavers’ show at the Make in India Week last month, Joshipura is also keen to promote her Benaras coat dresses and other contemporary experiments in traditional fabrics later. But for now, it’s all about being cool and comfortable. “It’s a big shout out to women who raise women and businesses,” chuckles Joshipura, whose New York vibe (where she used to live and will be showing this month) is evident in her futuristic-meets-street design aesthetic. Meanwhile, the busy mother of a 11-year-old is looking forward to Chennai, and to picking up bottles of thokku and barfi from Grand Sweets. “Some young trekkers I met in Delhi introduced me to them,” she shares. Priced from Rs 9,000 to Rs 25,000. Today and tomorrow. Details: 28333627