The Art of Design
By Jyotsna Sharma 1 Mar, 2017
After all the heavy art focus, I decided to turn my attention to design and explore some facets of it for this issue.
Design has always fascinated me and I am going to tell you about four young designers who are doing interesting things.
Jaya Bhatt & Ruchi Tripathi
Jaya & Ruchi are textile designers from NIFT, Delhi. After graduation they started working in Rajasthan with various NGO’s and craft groups, which worked to rehabilitate migrants by giving them a chance to develop skills such as weaving, embroidery etc. which would ultimately enable them to earn a livelihood. After eight years of working on these projects with various groups and with a focus on crafts they decided to start their own outfit – Indigene - in 2012.
In the fashion industry, the last few years have seen a revival of handmade textile and traditional crafts. Though there have been a few designers like Ritu Kumar and Abraham & Thakore who were also using traditional craft techniques in their work. However, for Ruchi and Jaya, handmade textiles and the use of traditional crafts has been the way to go from the start. They work with different artisan groups / communities throughout India, who contribute to the final product. For example, the Ajrakh technique used in their clothes is from the Kutch region, and is practiced by the Khatri community. This community has been practicing the craft for several generations and are still following the traditional, multi-process hand block printing technique and natural dyeing processes. The clothes therefore, are sent to Rajasthan, Gujarat or any other region as required by the design. ‘Our clothes travel different geographies - Jaya’
Started by Sonal in 2013, Rara Avis is well known for Leather accessories and clothes. She graduated from NIFT, Delhi and then went to Spain for her Masters. She has worked with Rohit Gandhi & Rahul Khanna and also Ritu Kumar. Her responsibility was to look after the leather part of their collection, in terms of garments, accessories etc. She has also worked on projects with the Cotton Council International and Asian Paints etc.
The quality of the Leather craftsmanship she offers is what makes her brand different from all the rest. Her brand makes leather go beyond the usual biker jacket association that one has. She does try to keep certain pieces from each collection unique and makes sure they do not get repeated.
She showcased at Tranoi in Paris last year in September and also this January. We are looking forward to seeing her work at Tranoi this September as well.
Rohan Gupta & Shrey Gupta
Rohan & Shrey started Sartojiva in 2014 as a bespoke tailoring outfit catering to men. The tailoring was appreciated and then, two years back, they got into shoes. The idea was to create shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable.
They take great pride in the craftsmanship, design and style. The shoes are hand-made and customized to the last detail. The customer can pick the type of leather, soles and also the type of patina he would want. They can even tattoo your shoes if you would like.
They are among the very few who hand paint shoes. The shoes are famous with Bollywood celebrities as well. They sell in Delhi and Dubai.
What I like about Medha Bansal’s designs is that she reuses fabric and still manages to create fabulous outfits. She takes multiple fabrics, which are dyed to create a new look for the fabric, she then embellishes it with embroidery.
She says it is comfort that she focuses on when it comes to designing. She won the ninth edition of The Debut an initiative by Wills Lifestyle, which gives emerging fashion students a platform to showcase their talent.
In addition, to clothes she also works on hats and furniture upholstery. She is about to launch her own label soon and we look forward to it.
Swasti, a textile designer, graduated from NIFT Kolkata in 2015. Three months after she graduated, she started ‘Colourscape’. She started with working on textiles, and creating textile designs but eventually added other products to her line as well, resulting in home décor items being added to the collection.
She believes in the concept of ‘the handmade’, and traditional techniques of embroidery and weaving. She is working towards making her line as sustainable as it can get. For example, looms are not used for the rugs that are made under her brand, and in fact they are all made from recycled scrap.
She uses scrap, rope, waste material and even discarded washers from taps in her products. She showcased at India Story last year and we hope to see more of her products at fairs and exhibitions this year.