A fashionable comeback

The gruelling summers of Chennai has us reaching out for all the lightweight fabrics in our closets; carefully sidestepping anything heavy or tight, no matter how fashionable.

Published: 30th April 2022 10:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2022 10:49 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The gruelling summers of Chennai has us reaching out for all the lightweight fabrics in our closets; carefully sidestepping anything heavy or tight, no matter how fashionable. Recognising the need of the hour — a mix of comfortable yet stylish attires — and stepping back into her passion after decades, Sudha Mahendra introduced her debut summer collection under the name Sudhas on Facebook, recently. 

Splashes of bright blues, pinks, greens and reds contrast the stark whites, and make way for other fun florals. “There are some people who like to wear only light blues, for instance, and some who don’t like any colours apart from white and black in their cupboards. I see several people who want a variety of products in colours or monotone. So, we’re trying to cater to them all. The basic idea was to bring summer cottons, since it is so hot in the city right now; silks or thick, heavy clothing do not appeal to people,” she explains. The collection serves not only variety but also versatility as Sudha has created the line so that one could wear it to a meeting, a function or even a wedding. 

While the usual suspects — mulmuls, cottons, georgettes, chanderi — make up for most of the garments, including saris, there is also a unique, eco-friendly section that displays white kurtas with hints of colour in the collar or other subtle areas. Interestingly, these are made with banana and bamboo. “In today’s fashionable world, it is what people like to put in their closets. Eco-friendly is catching on like the organic stores that we find across the city. So, there are people who want to buy it, support the cause, appreciate it and spread the word,” she notes. The fabric, she shares , has the feel of cotton. 

While she was always interested in the field, this is Sudha’s first step into the fashion industry (barring an exhibition she had held with friends years ago). “I worked for 25 years and then had some ups and downs with my health so this is me, starting (with fashion) again. This is a small beginning. People always comment on how I’m very pakka about my matching and (dressing sense) but I have always had it in me. This has allowed me to be slightly free, mentally and physically, and reach out to many who I hadn’t spoken to in a while. This has only been possible with the support of my friends and family who pushed me further,” she exclaims, adding that she has got a lot of satisfaction designing this collection and realised that her passion could be taken forward, whatever the age, time or season. 

All the clothes are handmade by tailors and the eco-friendly fabric is made by weavers known to her. They can also help customers create a piece or alter an existing one, if required. “The support I have received from the weavers and tailors was immense. They stood by me and, like family, made it possible. We have special designs and prints that are not easy to find like in big stores. So if you possess one (of these), people will definitely ask you where you got it from,” she says.  

The collection is displayed at 22, 4th Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur. Priced from Rs 1,500.


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