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    Offering handcrafted leather bags with quirky detail to anti-fits, meet the newcomers rocking at the Amazon India Fashion Week in Delhi

    Fashion Design Council of India has  shortlisted a fresh crop of young designers under the title, First Cut Designers for 2015. With the six designers debuting at the Amazon India Fashion Week on Saturday, we find out what they have in store. Text: Rashmi Rajagopal

    9FashionDvibhumi1Dvibhumi
    Dvibhumi by Vyshnavi is an independent jewellery label based in
    India and Singapore. Sanskrit for ‘two worlds’, the name reflects the coming together of designer Vyshnavi’s Indian roots and her current region of residence — Southeast Asia. Rooted in Asian heritage, her signature aesthetic employs clean lines, and surfaces in combination with textures and motifs — more matte finishes and monochrome than bling. At AIFW, the designer will showcase Rhythm-Rawa-Riyaz, an ode to the rigour and aesthetics of Indian classical music, which she has expressed through granulation or rawa, clean lines, repetitive patterns and visual rhythm. Made in collaboration with artisans in Jaipur, the metals used are mainly 925 silver, brass and gold plating. Details: dvibhumi.com

    Lola by Suman B
    From dressing the likes of Malaika Arora Khan to Athiya Shetty, Lola by Suman B has created quite a stir. Panjim-based Suman Bhat takes her inspiration from simplicity and minimalism. Priding itself on wearability, Lola’s designs often feature a single solid colour and hints of contrasting notes, to keep things interesting, and dramatic silhouettes. For Spring Summer 2016, Bhat has decided to take an unusual route, with her inspiration being a dark, summer love affair “that promises electricity and passion,” she tells us, adding, “I’m interested to see how people react to that kind of collection for summer.” Expect a colour palette of flesh tone, dusty rose, maroon, taupe and ash gold. The line-up includes jumpsuits, strapless dresses, maxis and trousers in fabrics such as linen, satin velvet and crepe. Details: facebook.com/lolabysuman

    9FashionVitasta3Vitasta
    Founded by Aditi Dhar, Vitasta, a handcrafted leather
    accessories label, is based on the idea of everyday luxury. Craftsmanship and simplicity are key, making its products functional and beautiful. “Our sensibility has evolved from the confluence of Indian colours and craftsmanship on modern functional shapes, and a respect for materials,” explains Dhar. Based in Delhi, her Spring Summer line explores the effect of things that are ‘desafinado’ (a Portuguese term for something that is off centre). Look out for details like hand-cut leather fringes and asymmetric seams, used to break conventional proportions. Handles come with woven details and straps are intentionally not centered, while a punch work pattern has been used in a series of waves. The silhouettes are inspired by binocular bags, equestrian saddle bags and everyday totes, and are crafted in thick calf leather with a neutral palette of tan, nude and black. Details: vitastadesign.com

    ASA
    Focussing on comfort clothes, ASA is known for its practical, minimal outlook, with garments that are not defined by gender. “Our aim is to create rational fashion using handloom fabrics and natural dyes,” shares designer Shreya Oza, who is based in Ahmedabad. This is strongly felt in the collection to be showcased at AIFW. Silhouettes are easy and modern, while the colour story is a mix of classic shades of grey, black and off-white. Made with cotton grown in Gujarat, the designs are wearable yet edgy, and employ manual techniques such as hand block printing. Details: facebook.com/asalimited

    Example
    Based in New Delhi, Example was started by Moutushi Sarkar and Rituraj Singh. A resort wear label, it is also a promoter of slow fashion, with special attention to handmade techniques and natural fabrics and dyes. Their collection for Spring Summer 2016 is inspired from their travels across southern India and Turkey. “We observed many common motifs and patterns in the practices of faith and religion, and how many symbols—like the star and golden yarn—have stood the test of time within civilisations that have always been at the crossroads of foreign influence,” says Sarkar. This theme, they found could be easily translated into their format of shibori dyeing and their aesthetic of street style. The fabrics are cotton, handwoven Kerala saris and soft silks, featuring clamp dyed shibori techniques and hand-stitched details. Details: weareexample.com

    The Meraki Project
    Greek for ‘soul, creativity or the love put into something’, Meraki was started by Sonali Pamnani to modernise Indian handwoven textiles by making them fuss-free, contemporary, eclectic and fun. “We use a lot of organic cotton, ikat textiles, linen and pure silks that are handwoven in different parts of India. Each piece is curated keeping the fabric in mind,” shares Pamnani. Their Spring Summer 2016 collection is “about embracing the weird in you and having fun with it,” she explains. Handwoven ikat textiles and linens in mustard, blues, whites, grays, checks and stripes feature heavily. There’s also a mix of different fabrics, textures and patterns layered together, fashioned into dresses, tops, tunics and more. Details: facebook.com/merakiproject

     

    Rashmi Rajagopal

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