Back to the roots

Fuss-free silhouettes that speak of and for artisans – a large number of fashion labels are now engaging in promoting conscious fashion.

While the clothes racks are full with international high street labels, and there is one entrant after another taking up mall space, there is one segment that is quietly giving rise to a fashion revolution with their indigenous creations. A major player in the Indian fashion space is designer Anita Dongre. Her label Grassroots is a tribute to India’s handcrafted traditions. This design label celebrates India’s crafts and weaves by providing a contemporary and sustainable platform for the artisans and helps create livelihoods by partnering with a network of trusted NGO’s. “Even though I launched the Grassroots label eight years ago, it is only recently that this is my main area of interest. I feel fashion should definitely be sustainable.” she says.

On the other hand, Nicobar, the newly-launched lifestyle design studio by the family that created Good Earth focused on effortless living. The retail vision of co-founders Simran Lal and Raul Rai, Nicobar is focused on conscious clothing, and is inspired by the journeys across the Indian Ocean and its namesake paradise.

The clothing line suits global nomads who nonchalantly mix holiday souvenirs into their day-to- day wardrobe. Focusing on fit, form, fabric and finish, the launch collection has a cool, monochromatic core, with the occasional foray into pops of fuchsia and lime, inky indigo, and subtle swathes of Khadi. A practical line for every day, we focus on classics reimagined in linen, cotton silk, and silk, a chic and contemporary capsule for a citizen of a new world. A slim cotton linen racer-back dress effortlessly floats from picnic in the park to rooftop drinks. Beautiful Chanderi, with its subtle twinkle, comes together with tailoring to create a dress that transitions from day to night, and marries grace with ease.

Aparna Chandra, Head Designer, Clothing, Nicobar, says, “You don’t need a lot of clothing to build a great wardrobe. In fact, limiting yourself to just a few items will force you to keep only the best. I feel the time is ripe when people in India should start taking individual pieces and style the same thing differently for different occasions as opposed to buying a new thing every time for every occasion. We at Nicobar want to encourage thoughtful consumption. Therefore the first thing you will notice about our clothes is the quality and the versatility of our designs. They can be worn in many different styles and are invaluable if you want to build a great wardrobe with as few as possible.”