Ka:Sha debuts at MaalGaadi with a collection that takes inspiration from the palette of migrant workers
Chennai’s one-stop quirk shop, MaalGadi, launches unconventional designer Karishma Shahani Khan’s collection this Friday. Known for her colourful motifs and meticulous surface treatments, Khan who hails from Pune, brings to us ‘Kaam Kaaj’, a collection inspired by the work wear of our Indian wage workers (bais). “Work and celebration are two extremes that make up the life of a single person. The motifs of this collection draw inspiration from stripes and checks seen on work wear, while floral depictions are elicited from the various flowers used in rituals. They depict the idea of functionality and comfort, with different layering options,” Khan explains.
What sets this line apart from previous collections is that it has been enhanced through hand-embroidery and ajrakh block printing, and made with natural dyes such as indigo and madder. Perfect for the season and for Chennai, Khan has used only pure cottons in differing weights, from light mal to handwoven cotton. No stranger to our city, she says, “We feel MaalGaadi as a store is perfect for our label because of their eclectic product range and aesthetic appeal.” The collection reflects femininity through its dresses and skirts. Her favourites from the collection are the baag shirt and mal skirt for the easy to wear silhouette — they can be worn from morning to evening with ease.
Most of Khan’s clothes are labelled gypsy chic in style, but she believes there is a luxe factor in them. “Variation in styling allows for a lot of individuality. Luxury isn’t always relative to expensive fabrics but also to the idea of uniqueness, of fabrics and dyes that do not damage your skin, and can be passed down through generations without coming apart,” she says. This season, Khan is inspired by the styles of migrant labourers, vendors and the local landscape that she came across while travelling from Maharashtra to UP and Gujarat. Floral motifs and muted light and dark colours work for her. “This season was blockprint, last season screen print and before that another surface technique. We always focus on creating hand crafted pieces.”
Priced between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 30,000. At MaalGaadi, Besant Nagar. Details: 42103242