Indigenously crafted clothing

A long yet conscious supply chain handcrafts its produts with care…….

Indigene a girl next door label is thriving on its simplicity in separates. It tacitly agrees with my summer essential requirements in khadi and linen; gives more room to experiment with accessories to easily live with a capsule wardrobe. So here I am sharing details of a design and clothing company that mediates between the artisans, craftsmen and conscientious buyers.

Jaya and Ruchi, both textile design graduates from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi (2003 batch), conceived it after several years of practise and research on arts and crafts. Infact, its the excitement of bringing to fore living traditions of costumes and embellishments, that keeps them on their toes.

Few days ago at their invitation I visited a design studio in New Delhi, to learn more about the micro label.

MD: How did the partnership come about?

R: From our days at NIFT, both of us were keenly interested in traditional crafts, surface textiles and weaves. Our respective associations with craft based organisations helped to study and understand textiles, its artisans and their challenges.

These grass root experiences motivated us to create a label that would take indigenous crafts to the next level; where we could get experimental with the available techniques. We toyed with the idea of using traditional, rustic crafts for creating niche products which were affordable.

MD: What do you think of the Indian textiles?

R: We, Indians should feel lucky to have the opportunity of seeing, feeling and wearing textiles which are only a part of design books and museums in many countries. Our regional diversity affected textiles which had engaged communities of talented artisans with particular vocations, generations on end. But that started diminishing with the rise of industrial products, eventually leading their younger lot to slowly opt for other viable livelihoods.

Taking advantage of this decadence, there is a seawave of young designers and craft entrepreneurs (like us) now, who would like to revive or innovate with the traditional textiles and crafts for newer product lines.

MD: Who in your opinion, breathes life through textiles most exquisitely?

R: We are both highly inspired by the Japanese craft and textiles skills. Their precision and eye for detail is without doubt the best in the world. Some of the labels/ designers/ stores that inspire us are- Muku, Jurgen Lehl, TM Collection, Yohji Yamamoto and Daniela Gregis.

We at Indigene do not like to be dictated by the fashion trends, but believe in classics that would appeal to most; adhering to Yohji Yamamoto – the master tailor’s philosophy “Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance” .

MD: Other than Indigene what makes you happy?

R: I enjoy silver jewellery, home decor/ accessories, travelling, and listening to all kinds of music depending on my mood. Whereas Jaya likes to devour her senses while travelling, absorbing details of anything beautiful, listening to most genres of music, experience good food and fun along the way.

MD: Your dream for Indigene?

R: To see it organically grow into a conscientious and ethical design label, while keeping the essence of handmade intact in a contemporary product.

Kilol (N-blk, G.K.-1, New Delhi)

Amethyst,next to Corporation Bank, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai 

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