The current global crisis has brought in various factors that will determine the way of life. Embracing these changes, designer duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula have launched a special wedding collection Karawan, for post-COVID-19 times with pre-designed masks. The collection draws references from various vintage textiles that the duo collected over the years. Excerpts:
What was the inspiration behind the festive collection Karawan?
Our new collection Karawan draws inspiration from our travels as well as various textile crafts indigenous to tribal belts all across India. The outfits might appear simplistic, but each ensemble has various layers with a new story to tell.
We have used Chanderi silks predominantly and muslins in an effort to create a collection that is easy on the eye as well as functional, keeping in mind the current times.
The collection draws references from vintage textiles that we have been collecting. You will notice textiles from the British era, Indian chintz and paisley shawls, antique Bandhej fragments and brocades as well as sacred geometry. Mughal era architecture and erstwhile Indian royals can also be seen in the collection.
In terms of embroidery, techniques such as Marodi ka kaam, Kashmiri Kashidakari and Rajasthani Karchobi have been used, created by special artisans. We have also worked with a specialised cluster of women near Muzzafarnagar who created the hand-made crochet trimmings and edgings used in the ensembles.
Tell us about the pre-designed complimentary masks.
Our clients are planning smaller intimate gatherings and do not want to wear regular masks with their outfits. Hence, we will provide masks with each ensemble from the Karawan collection.
Will such pre-designed masks become the new normal?
Right now, people want pre-designed masks due the pandemic, but on realising the health benefits of using a mask, they might want masks even after COVID-19 is over. Masks are not a fashion statement and more research needs to be done on their long term usage and effects.
What changes have you witnessed in the industry due to the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown that followed?
The industry did not change much. It just came to a complete standstill for about three months. Now, things are picking up as work is resuming and clients are stepping out of their houses. However, there is a marked shift in our interactions as more and more clients are turning to social media and video call applications to get in touch with designers and place orders from the safety of their homes.
The entire experience of coming into the atelier, trying on the creations and then working with the designer to create the wedding look, has taken a backseat. Hopefully, those times will soon return.