KOCHI: Play with silhouettes and colours set Salt Studio’s recent collection, The Bridal Edit, apart. Designer and creative head Diya John has curated a dreamy space at her studio with the lineup, putting together offerings by various designers across the country. Keep it comfortable — this is the mantra at Salt Studio. The Bridal Edit offers a rare collection, one meant for a fun, minimal wedding, where the bride doesn’t have to carry heavy layers of clothing. Instead, she can feel comfortable and at ease.
“When I am designing, I prioritise the comfort of the buyer. Playing with fabrics like Chanderi silk and cotton or Banarasi silk, I have made this bridal collection more minimal than our previous edits. I have also included collections from other designers, and while curating those too, I have tried to go for the most aesthetically pleasing yet comfortable designs,” says couture designer Diya.
Bright pinks and magentas, royal and navy blues and pastel shades have been used in the bridal edit. Modern cuts ranging from plunge necks and noodle straps add to the uniqueness. The lehengas are lightweight with golden embroidery works. There are also lehengas in block colours with pearls and motifs lining them. The collection offers attires that would let a bride break into a dance during the wedding reception.
“We conducted a pop-up at our store during the launch of the bridal collection. Customers in Kerala have become more receptive to new designs now, especially after the pandemic. Cut strap blouses have many takers. As long as you are comfortable in your skin, you can pull off any such styles,” says Diya.
Her other recent collection, Summer Cord Set, is more on the modern end. Diya has played around with bikini blouses in silk and cotton as ideal summer wear. “There was a lot of fabric leftover at our store after the pandemic outbreak. I wanted to create something new with them instead of throwing them away. I have come to realise that customers in the state are open to designs like that now. Earlier, people preferred tight, body-hugging fits. Now, they prefer loose clothes,” says Diya, who also launched the website of Salt Studio during the pandemic. Salt Studio uses Indian fabrics, mainly cotton and silk, for most of their designs as Diya believes they are the most climate-friendly for us.
When the government eased the Covid regulations, Diya thought of curating clothes from other designers. “The pandemic was a difficult time. We were on the verge of closure. During a crisis, fashion becomes unimportant. New clothes are a secondary concern for many, but not for us and our weavers. My workers who mainly hail from West Bengal went back during the first wave. When we reopened, we had to stop production as it was not sustainable. The situation was the same for many designers across the country. So I brought down products from designers in Delhi and Mumbai to Salt Studio and organised pop-up sales for the first time. The items sold out very fast, so I decided to curate more designs,” says the young designer.
The drastic change in customer demands is a welcome change she says. “Earlier, people were reluctant to buy costly designs or modern cuts like off shoulders. Now they are more receptive. Online shopping has also become popular, and we are tapping into that through our website,” she says.