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    Turning concepts into luxe, high fashion garments, city-based Aravind Criton is a label to watch out for

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    For designer Aravind Criton, it’s as much about telling a story, as it is about exquisitely crafted clothes. His designs from his eponymous label, fashioned from only the finest of silks, satins, and cottons, embody his own ideologies that range from social to political issues. “Doubtless, I aim to make beautiful clothes, but I also want my wearers to think about what they are wearing,” begins Criton, a native of Thrissur, who has made Bengaluru his home.

    It was while he was working closely with the National Centre for Design and Product Development, that he got to interact with small-time artisans a
    nd craftsmen. This experience, combined with a Masters degree from Domus, Milan steered him towards setting up a label that stresses on ideas, stories and living consciously. But does this mean that his is a sustainable label? “In some ways, yes,” he says, elaborating, “We help sustain craftspeople and artists, by stepping in and helping them with contemporary designs. We also try to reduce wastage by using our fabrics across as many collections as possible, but in really unique ways.”

    Silken strands
    Every piece spells luxury, says Criton. Right from the Coveted Pleasures collection — which seeks to highlight the contrast between fragility and strength by bringing together the sturdiness of menswear fabrics and softness of organza, to their latest, Mineral Cracks, an exploration of the concept of a politically constrained queen, rendered through textural elements and metallic details, the focus is on how the clothes feel on the skin. “We work only with luxurious fabrics. Also, we borrow techniques, used to craft menswear, for a more premium finish. Mineral Cracks features a black and white palette, with a smattering of marbled silk fabrics and hints of shimmer. Each design reflects the idea of trying to escape and break free,” explains the designer. At his studio, located in HSR Layout, you’ll find pristine white knee-length skirts, with a pale pink and yellow panel at the hem, alongside striking black LBDs with rosette details at the shoulders or on the bodice, apart from sheer white organza tunics embellished with hand-tied silk yarns — an old technique with a modern twist. “Our artisans come from as far and wide as West Bengal and towns around Lucknow, to parts of Karnataka as well,” he reveals.
    Next on their agenda is a collection of white shirts featuring embellishments created by manipulating the very fabric used to create each piece. “Profits from this collection will go towards breast cancer research,” says Criton. Also in the pipeline is a bridal collection, set to be launched in the next four months.

    Rs.7,000 upwards (pret), Rs.15,000 upwards (exploration line), Rs.50,000 upwards (bridal collection). Details: shop.a-criton.com

    — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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