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    Summer brings with it Mul-Mul Mela, with soft pastels and floral patterns on cotton and voile.sv stole bird coral

    Beat the heat with the chic range of cotton, voile and muslin apparel and home decor at The Mul-Mul Mela over the weekend from acclaimed Delhi design outfit The Shop. Distinguished by their colourful discharge prints on natural fabrics, the summer exhibition will feature a range of pastels, whites and indigo. This is the second time the Delhi brand has graced Chennai with their range of “affordable luxury”, having exhibited here last year. The brand’s director Kabir Singh (43), the second-generation design entrepreneur of the family venture, shares, “My parents started their fabric and apparel business in 1969,” and supplied both fabric and apparel to fashion giants like Zara, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and even to the legendary Victoria and Albert MusBird Coral Kimono 2eum (London, UK). “But about a decade or so ago we started to feel strongly about sharing our special designs and the skill-set that we have perfected over the years, within our own country.” This led to the opening of their flagship boutique at Connaught Place in New Delhi and then a second boutique in Mumbai five years ago.

    Fabric sense
    Singh, an Economics graduate from Georgetown University (USA) explains the design process. “Our ethos is simple — we work only with hand-woven natural fabrics from all over India. Then we put the fabrics through our special discharge printing process(where the design is applied to dyed fabric by application of a colour-destroying agent to bleach out unique patterns) and inject it with our design aesthetic — clean silhouettes and versatile cuts that do not fall too close to the body.” The Shop has shirts and kurtas for men and boys, kurtas, kurtis and dresses for women and girls. Also, table linen and bed linen for the home.

    Summer shades
    With workshops in Noida where the printing is completed, Singh’s wife Aishwarya Kumar (37) who oversees the design and productions, shares, “Our clothes have the best of both worlds! Our weavers give us beautiful fabrics to work with — cotton and khadi from Bengal, mul-mul from the North, ajrakh from Gujarat, kalamkari and ikat from Andhra, brocade from Benares. All hand-finished with our signature English floral and chintz prints, and kantha embroidery.” While the signature prints are executed in earthy and floral hues, Kumar (a business grad from Pepperdine University, USA) has special collections in pastel hues, blue and white for the challenging Chennai summer.
    On April 2 and 3, at Amethyst, Rs 500 onwards for home and apparel (Rs 250 onwards for children’s wear), Details: 7299449979

    —Shibi Kumaramangalam

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