From children’s clothes to bespoke women’s wear, Urmilla Agarwal’s Mint Closet offers all things bold
Ormilla Agarwal’s Mint Closet is exactly as you would imagine it to be. Fresh and modern. The city-based designer is being inundated with orders for her bespoke cape jackets, dhoti pants and draped dresses the past few months. “I launched the Mint Closet in May this year and started off with lots of orders from family and close friends, as I did not market or promote my work at all. It was strictly word-of-mouth,” says the pretty 32-year-old who likes working with raw silk and jersey. From a stunning animal-print cape jacket which can be worn with ripped, black jeans, to a wedding-worthy sapphire blue crop top and maxi skirt and a sophisticated graphic-print cape dress in black and white—the Mint Closet’s offerings promise to be head turners.
Be like mum
The Kerala-born designer is no stranger to fashion. “It’s been 14 years since I moved to Chennai,” reminisces the Fine Arts graduate from Stella Maris, who also studied garment construction at NIFT. Since her graduation in 2006, Agarwal has styled several actors including Suriya, Shriya Saran, Sriya Reddy, and cricketer Mathew Hayden for local lifestyle magazines. Oddly, these were not the reasons for starting her own label. “It all started because of my little girl,” the young mum tells us. “My four-and-half year old was always asking if she could wear what mommy was wearing.” Like other mums in the city, Agarwal bemoans the lack of original patterns and interesting colours in children’s wear. “In fact, I had originally thought of designing children’s wear alone but soon got so many requests that I had to venture into adult territory.”
The right cut
Working out of her workshop in Kotturpuram thus far, Agarwal has only executed bespoke designs. But she hopes to launch a line of contemporary pret apparel in the next few months. Expect classic cuts and chic silhouettes, and Agarwal adds, “You will find minimal embellishment on my clothes as I prefer to work with interesting cuts and bold prints.” With a penchant for striking prints, she travels all over the country to source her fabrics. “I play around with drapes and prints a lot. I recently found this fantastic African-inspired print, but I also love florals, geometric prints and anything different in jewel tones,” she concludes.