Sabyasachi Mukherjee doesn’t do things by halves. In his new Kolkata home, you’ll find cushions made of grain cloth (from burlap sacks used to store grains) sharing space with kilims and carpets from Iran and Iraq, Persia and Afghanistan, and wedding blankets and cushions from Morocco. He has individually washed and layered his walls with rose pink, turquoise and moss green paint to achieve just the right shade of vintage jade green — and is waiting for the paint to peel off the walls. Read on to find out more about his personal aesthetic and how nostalgia plays a role in almost everything he does.
Unlike many of her peers, Anita Dongre, has stayed away from the typical trappings of Indian fashion — of Bollywood showstoppers and high-powered bridal clientèle. Instead, she quietly built her empire (with retail sales estimated to log in at ₹725 crore for FY 2019-20, after hitting ₹675 crore the last fiscal year) which currently extends to five brands. Along the way, she has constantly focussed on her twin passions: reviving Indian textile handicraft and sustainability. Here is how she managed to do it while shunning the spotlight.
With the fashion industry rated as the second most polluting in the world, there’s an urgent need to change consumption habits. But it doesn’t have to mean boring clothing. Just look at the smart, contemporary designs by veterans like Doodlage, Péro and The Rafoo Project to newer players like Patch over Patch. With every festive season, give fast fashion a miss and look for upcycled and vintage clothing. Here’s a list of new (and newish) brands to help get you started.
Shopping for toddlers is, more often than not, a frustrating exercise that is disguised as fun. The number of retailers who sell cute but good quality clothes for children is embarrassingly low. Additionally, children outgrow their clothing at a lightning pace, making shopping for them not only exhausting, but expensive. Thankfully, things are changing. Today, there are a number of homegrown brands — most of them started by similarly frustrated mothers — that are changing the narrative when it comes to children’s clothing. Highlighting seven brands that apply contemporary, fun and clever design sensibilities on locally-sourced fabrics to make kids’ clothing last longer and allow multiple styling options.
In a handful of Saurashtrian homes in the temple town of Madurai, a few middle-aged women struggle to breathe life into Sungudi, pinching a tiny piece of cloth and winding a thread around it tightly. “From more than 30,000 weavers and dyers six decades ago, we’re reduced to 150 trying to keep the tradition alive. Youngsters are not keen to take up the labour-intensive community work,” says AK Ramesh, secretary of the Madurai Sungudi Javuli Urpathiyalargal and Viyaparigal Sangam, which is looking to revive the craft. Find out how they, and others are facing up to the task.
When it comes to men’s fashion, “Terms like androgyny, un-binary and genderless are gaining traction,” opines Vijendra Bhardwaj, (former) fashion director of GQ India. “There’s an extreme melding of elements of womenswear and menswear, and questioning and redefining the notions of masculinity.” And this is creating “new industry and opportunity”, feels Nikhil Mehra, of Delhi-based brand Shantanu & Nikhil, who adds, “The next five to six years belong to men.” We speak with 14 catalysts — designers, stylists and retailers — on their new collections and where menswear is heading in India.