Kotwara's new design head believes in experimentation
As she launches a pastel summer collection comprising of feather light salwars and lehengas, Sama Ali, the new design head of Kotwara, seems sure about where she wants to take the brand next. For some, inheriting a two-decade long legacy which showcases the finest of India’s handcrafted designs might be overwhelming. But not Sama. The brand—launched by her parents Meera Ali (an architect turned designer) and Muzaffar Ali (the Raja of Kotwara)—is rooted in tradition, but emanates modern sensibilities thanks to the young designer. “Our latest collection marks a progression from the Summer Resort line presented at Lakme Fashion Week. I would describe it as a slightly affordable precursor to our upcoming couture line,” explains Sama who earned her degree in fashion designing from London College of Fashion.
Though the trademark elements of the brand—such as the use of handloom textiles like chanderis paired with zardosi embroideries—remain the same, Sama brings experimentation to the forefront through textures and detailing.“We have used a lot of sheer fabrics keeping up with the trends. Exaggerated sleeves, frills and contemporary motifs (think tulips) are some of other aspects that add a touch of drama to the line,” explains the designer, who’s all set to come out with her first couture collection by September. Asserting her commitment to Kotwara’s long standing associations with India’s artisan communities, Sama informs us that she’s working in tandem with her father to capture this rich tradition through a series of documentaries, as well as her upcoming collections.
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