As a foreigner living in India, I am commonly asked ‘what is your favorite thing about the country?’ For me it is an easy answer – the textiles, the weaves, and the craftsmanship. I have the pleasure of working with fabrics and the artisans who produce them for my own brand, The Fabric Social.
But the work young Indian designers are doing in the growing domestic boutique market is absolutely compelling. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that many of these designers can be found in the fashion forward Huaz Khas Villiage and Shahpur Jat. Some of my current favorites are Bodice, Anavila and Rara Avis – labels defined by simplicity of design and high quality fabrics and leathers.
The Autumn/Winter collection of break-out young designer, Ruchika Sachdeva’s label, Bodice has been keeping me awake at night. There is daring quality to her aesthetic, which is at once utilitarian and luxurious, and I am completely smitten.
Her pieces are exquisitely tailored separates featuring gentle hues, and androgynous silhouettes with few embellishments. The feel of the fabric and the quality of the construction underpin Sachdeva’s approach to design, and the result is distinctive pieces that are crafted to be worn, and loved. Think oversized tailored jackets, pleated trousers, and simple cotton jumpsuits. Cheeky afternoon cocktails with friends, an all morning meeting with the business partners, or sophisticated evening dinner parties – these pieces transport me into my wildest, most chic fantasy life.
Another young designer pushing the envelope is Anavila Misra. Misra debuted her first collection at Lakmé Fashion Week Summer 2014, and has been making waves ever since. It is not hard to see why – the effortlessly casual drape of her hand-woven linen saris, and beautifully sophisticated lines are absolutely intoxicating.
Comfort and versatility are two words not readily associated with the sari, but Misra has taken these two principles and placed them at the very heart of her design. The result is a stunning collection of simple, linen sari’s and blouses that evoke the kind of elegant chic that I only posses in my most lavish fantasies.
There is something about her work that recalls a deep respect for the past, with a firm eye to the future. The exquisite quality of the weave paired with contemporary geometric lines and plaids invites experimentation and playfulness. Dressed up, or down – these pieces are not made to be cooped up or carefully stored – but to be worn, reinvented and treasured through the years.
From linens to leathers, Rara Avis’ head designer, Sonal Verma has engineered a gorgeous collection of structured separates and clutches that are all about the leather. Her work radiates a kind of alternative chic that many strive for, but few achieve.
I have fairly strong emotions about clutches, the Autumn/Winter collection of simple box clutches displays such careful attention to detail, and aesthetic I want to die. Her palette is a classic autumn offering of earthy browns and forest greens, with flecks of metallic bronze, gold and copper. Each piece is a work of ingenuity to be collected and cherished.
Her garment offering is just as tasteful, featuring simple cottons in flowing, structured silhouettes and thoughtfully placed leather detailing. Quilted diamonds spread across the bust and shoulder, oversized leather pockets – Verma’s work reimagines leather, and invites it into our everyday lives.
WHERE TO BUY
You can find all the designers online at Ogaan.com and in-store at 1 Hauz Khas Village 1st Floor, New Delhi
Bodice: 2 Hauz Khas Village 1st Floor, New Delhi
Rara Arvis: 253, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-49
This article was originally posted on globalfashionstreet.com
Sharna is the Co-Founder of The Fabric Social, a social enterprise working exclusively with conflict-affected women. The Fabric Social work to transform one of the greatest causes of poverty: armed conflict. You can shop, donate, or get involved here.