City-based Runa Ray’s label is refreshingly simple with fine detail
A six month internship with John Galliano extended to two years on merit, and a master’s degree in fashion merchandising and marketing from ESIV (Ecole Supérieure des Industries du Vêtement), Paris, more than defines Bangalore girl Runa Ray — a NIFT-Chennai graduate who worked with a number of European designers before returning to India to head the women’s wear division of Allen Solly. She went on to conceptualise Mojo, her pret line in 2011 followed by her couture line, Runa Ray, in 2013.
“I started with simple, easy jackets in signature styles that could be worn across seasons,” says Ray who soon brought out a range of summer tops, dresses and shorts. “I realised India was a ‘top driven’ market still growing into the habit of wearing dresses,” she explains. Made from knits, brush cottons and viscose to stretch leather and blends like cotton satin, stretch satin and cotton viscose from Italian mills, Mojo is ‘youth centric with funk’. Her design aesthetic follows clean cuts and structured flow rather than the more common boho styles that dominate the segment. Her colour wheel is strictly monochromatic, with not just black and white, but other colours too.
“I take the popular colour of the season and use it in varying shades,” Ray shares. The current mood centres around coral, fuchsia, blue and gray.
Her couture line, Runa Ray, follows many of the same design principles but is a little more extravagant in execution. Here dresses range from kaftan to tie-and-dye styles with richer fabrics like silk, satin, dyeable viscose and linen taking over the racks. Embroidery too becomes more intricate as her craftsmanship move from simpler bead and thread work under Mojo to zardosi, kantha and mirror work for the couture line.
“What I am trying to do is to merge Indian techniques with Western design aesthetics. So often, the embroidery is used to embellish the base print or bring in flushes of colour,” Ray says about the hand-done embroidery that stands out strongly in her dominantly black and white couture line. She is open to customising orders as well.
Mojo: Rs. 1,500 upwards, Runa
Ray Couture: Rs. 5,000 upwards. Available at her studio at Minerva Circle. Details: 973859736