The breeze along the Besant Nagar streets grew thick with fashion as MaalGaadi, fashion concept store, opened in the city recently. At its launch, a few designers whose works find an abode within, had come to the city for the first time. CE had a chat with them to find how they plan to bridge the geographical divide through fashion.
Delhi-based jewellery designer Malleka is known for her creation of dramatic jewellery. “They run all over your body. They have spikes, chains and you have to wear them like you would wear a dress,” she says. A textile designer, who never really studied jewellery, she seems to be a bundle of surprises as she talks about her prowess in designing unique brass, gold and silver jewellery pieces. “It was only recently that I jumped into jewellery, and I’m happy that I have done quite a number of exhibitions and have attracted a niche crowd who appreciate my collection,” she says. “It is also for those who want to make a statement, but do not want to make it obvious,” she adds.
Talk about making a statement, and once is immediately drawn to designer Nida Mamood. Her collection titled ‘The adventures of Captain Must! Qalandar’ in an amalgamation of different fabrics from all across the country. But who is Must! Qalandar? “Oh it is a fictional motorised flying ant, who wanders the country on an old vintage bike, that is more like a time machine. So this ant travels across the cities and observes various cultures,” she says. While a few are done with handlooms, other pieces flaunt digital imagery and futuristic prints. The ‘time warp’ collection includes tunics, dresses, unisex kurtas, pants, stockings and jackets.
If Nida’s works are futuristic, Nikki Mahajan’s roots are just the opposite. A craft revivalist, Nikki has been working working with artisans for the past three decades, providing them rehabilitation. “We revived Avadh and the technique of block printing in itself was invented by me,” she says. From shows in Paris to retailing in the best stores across the globe, Nikki says that 65 per cent of their business is international. “We have four collections every year and employ a lot of crafts in each. When it comes to fabrics, we go global. We get lays from Portugal and the flounce on the sleeves from France. There are often 17 to 18 techniques in one garment,” she says.
Arjun Saluja’s brand Rishta on the other hand is all about easy, simple and languid works. “The silhouttes are easy with a bit of detailing, and it’s all pret and ready-to-wear western garments,” says Arjun. The fall winter collection maintains Rishta’s style element, with just a moderate change in the fabrics.