Summer is here, and we are in the mood to ignore commercial brands and reach out for the collections crafted by independent designers from India. You may ask why? We believe these designers have the pulse of what we want and understand our brutal summers!
So off we went, looking for these quirky, interesting summer - spring (SS) collections by small and medium designers from India and we were thrilled with what we found. The collections stand out and are perfect for the warm months ahead. Take a look.
The Ink Bucket
“My SS '16 collection is a range of canvas and leather bags including totes, laptop sleeves, backpacks, messenger bags, wallets, satchel and a few more,” states Vidhi Khandelwal. The upcoming collections have prints pulled out from her sketchbook.
The first collection is a direct translation of the scribbles and scrawls onto tangible products, Khandelwal fills us in. “Imagine you are on the phone having a conversation, or sipping tea, and you are given a pen and a paper. The chances are that you will end up scribbling on that piece of paper, and what you draw often speaks volumes about the kind of person you are or what’s going on in your head! You don’t have to make sense all the time or be able to draw the perfect dog to be creative. Even a broken brush stroke has its own beauty. The next collection celebrates the beauty of imperfections,” she clarifies.
The second collection reflects the spirit of travellers and artists who brave new places and broaden their horizon, just because they can and is an extension to the previous range.
Aditi Lal Couture
Getting married this summer, and still clueless about what to wear? Relax, designer Aditi Lal and her Spring/Summer Collection is just in time to save your day! Colourful lehengas and anarkalis, easy going kurtas, fun summer dresses, funky saris and floral crop tops is what Aditi Lal Couture has to offer this season - right from a pre-wedding cocktail party, to sangeet, she has got you covered.
“Our lehengas are made with flowy printed silks and unique brocades that can be mixed and matched with several different blouses. Experimenting with block printing, we have created crop tops, skirts, organza dupattas and dresses that can be customised for clients by giving them the opportunity to pick the prints and colours that they like. The saris and blouses have a blend of print and embroidery on matka silk, georgette, cotton brocade, dupion and tussar,” enthuses Lal.
Thinking about rocking a sari and going traditional this season? Fret not, Resha has got you covered. Spearheaded by designer Medhavini Yadav, this label believes in ethical, sustainable clothing and slow fashion. Their Spring/Summer Collection this year has a blend of hand block printing crafts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
“The collection showcases a wide variety of natural dyes with unusual combination. It is made of light weight, summer friendly and 100 per cent natural Indian textiles like khadi, linen, fine mulberry silk and organic cotton,” Yadav says. She adds, “The bold patterns and fearless play of colours in our collection celebrates the spirit of life of the most ecologically and ethnically diverse states of India.”
This quirky label's Spring/Summer Collection 2016 is centered around the theme 'nostalgia'. It’s about going back to simpler times, when happiness meant doing smaller things like cycling and climbing mango trees. “To create this collection, my team and I have used the most breathable of fabrics - cotton. Again, staying true to our brand core, everything is hand-woven. The silhouettes are relaxed, with a hint of retro style. Green, pink, blue, grey and yellow are the prominent colours in the collection,” states designer Richana Khumanthem.
If you want a pop of colour this season, then we suggest you check this spunky brand out. The Spring/Summer Collection, 2016 from Howrah Bridge is titled ‘Colors of India’ and is primarily made using traditional Indian fabrics like Ikats and hand block-printed cottons, that are not only beautiful to look at, but also perfectly comfortable for Indian summers.
“Indigo is a primary theme, accompanied with other earthy shades such as mustards, olives, corals and greys,” tells Anupriya Dutta Gupta, designer of Howrah Bridge. "Further, the fabrics and prints used are quintessentially Indian in origin and I have used such traditional materials to form contemporary silhouettes, thus putting a modern twist to ethnic roots,” she states. Comprising of maxi dresses, fusion tunics, crop tops and other contemporary styles; each piece from this collection is a summer must-have!
Consider yourself a shoe fanatic? Then this up-beat fashion brand will be worth your time. “Our Spring/Summer Collection this year has a variety of flats. Since our designs have always been in-sync with global trends, we have summer staples like white and blue slip-ons. For those who’re looking for something ethnic, we’ve introduced kolhapuri sandals with a funky-shaped sole... and it comes with a pop of neon detailing, too,” designer Devika Bharadwaj points out.
SUO means ‘to stitch’ in Latin. “If I had to define SUO in one line it would be ‘Light at heart, strong in presence. We at SUO make simple beautiful clothes with natural material for women - fluid in nature and modern character for the woman of today,” Anwar Khan, founder and designer, familiarises us with the brand.
Liberal is the theme for this year’s Spring/Summer Collection. “The Liberal collection is fluid in nature, made with linens and cottons. Just like the wearer who’s evolved and free in her thought process, the collection follows a similar mind set in terms of the silhouettes and styling. You could shop for over-sized, easy everyday dresses and jackets in natural fabrics," quips Khan.
What makes Encrypt different from the rest of the design houses in India is they craft their collection in small trend-driven capsules, instead of using a central theme for the season. Further, the people at this fashion label get inspired from street-style across the world and fuse it with the upcoming trends. “The collection, however, is pulled together by our signature DIY’s and transformable elements, that allow you to play with our pieces. Our ‘designed-casuals' can be dressed up and dressed down as per your mood,” explains founder and designer, Priyanka Kumar.
Designed in breathable fabrics, a few key pieces from the Spring/Summer '16 collection are shin length shirts, flared jeans, over-sized clothing, conversational prints, personality-disorder dress (it’s not a top, not a shirt, not a dress or a cover-up; but it can be all four!). To add to the fun, a few pieces feature detachable collars and fringes, wear in two-ways dresses and our inseparables collection (printed co-ordinates). Her collections will keep you occupied throughout the summers, we promise you that.
This Bangalore-based fashion label's SS Collection is titled 'The Abandoned Garden' and has a total of 28 pieces. The collection has maxi dresses, pants with beautiful, small details and floral tops and skirts.
“The Abandoned Garden is a vintage inspired modern collection. It has a lot of old elements juxtaposed with new. There are a lot of traditional florals with modern usage of stripes and silhouettes,” says designer Puja Singh Nadhani. The cuts are an aesthetic mix of old and new - perfect for a day out. “The best way to describe this collection is to say: some new feet discovering an old abandoned garden in awe. Hence, the name.” Nadhani adds.
Label D’s Spring/Summer Collection 2016 focuses on the modern bride, someone who holds her head above her shoulder yet values her Indian roots and traditions seeking a perfect blend of functionality and fantasy. “The collection has moved from last season’s sorbet shades like pistachio, washed out salmons, to muted hues like camel, milky coffee, gold paired with poppy pink and orange. The colour palette is fierce and subtly sexual, conveying a blend of seduction, strength and power,” says designer Dimple Shroff.
By now you know we love the collections by designers who work with alternative fabrics and designers who design easy-going wear. Can you blame us?
Which designers' SS collection will you shop for this season? Let us know in the comments below.