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    This Pondy-based designer has been setting fashion trends on the East Coast since last year, with his homegrown label Naushad Ali. 

    Gearing up to reopen his updated store at the Artika gallery tomorrow, Ali already has his extended summer collection in stores. Yet another designer using sustainable materials and not following trends, the NIFT Chennai design graduate has been living in Pondicherry since  2013 and is a slow fashion crusader. “I believe that fast fashion—where high-end stores in malls try to push their collection season wise—is actually working in favour for us designers. These days we see more people moving towards slow fashion and looking for designs that satisfy their needs, with clothes that are collectible and last longer than just a few months,” he says, adding that the way people perceive design has changed. He reckons that Delhi-based Aneeth Arora’s Pero is one of the bigger names in this group, making exclusive collections and setting a trend across the country.

    Weaves and layers
    NA-10Ali’s extended summer line features fabrics by weavers in Andhra Pradesh —  seen as long tunics, dresses, scarves, crop tops and oversized shirts in bold colours — sporting detailing like checks and stripes.   The photo-shoot for the line—by model and fashion stylist Sacha  Mendez, of the Sacha Shop in Goa—was done using a Polaroid camera, in the old-school style. The line is also available in her store in Goa.  Currently, Ali is busy with his other line, Indigo Love, a non-seasonal collection that uses 100 per cent natural dyes. His winter collection, comprising scarves, jackets and layered clothing in deep tones of indigo—with intricate patches and hand-designed textures—is expected to be launched later this year. For his store, which is being renovated now, Ali says he has designed over 30 exclusive pieces. These will only  be available in Pondicherry. “They are exclusive dresses, over-sized tees and some select experiments using saris that I have put together. I’ve picked up saris with interesting zaris and given them a makeover by dyeing them, to impart a contemporary touch. I’ve then made outfits out of them,” he concludes.
    Rs 3,500 onwards. Details: naushadali.in

    Niranjana Hariharanandanan

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