Twenty-two-year-old Arja Chakraborty created Oikkyo Calcutta amidst the raging pandemic in 2020 with a mission to redefine fashion. “We like to work on themes that have never been explored before and we are always trying to make something unique, like saris which are one of a kind and quirky and classy in equal parts,” Arja says.
Arja inherited her love for sarees from her mother and she always wanted to do something different with saris by breaking generic ideas. I wanted to mix western and eastern elements to make something unique, something that would be totally out of the box,” she adds.
Their Diwali festive edit this year has a versatile and diverse range of saris inspired by Marilyn Moroe, Harry Potter and Satyajit Ray! It offers quirky to classy nine yards in cotton and silks in a vibrant colour palette. Take your pick from the ever-popular white with red border Marilyn Monroe sari to a marron-red Harry Potter one or a lotus pink Michael Jackson number with retro polka dots. Then there's a whole six yards inspired by Coldplay's album, A Head Full of Dreams giving out the vibes of the Varanasi ghats. There's also a stunning lilac sari on the Friends TV show and a couple more taking a leaf from Satyajit Ray's iconic films Debi and Mahanagar.
Being a part of the young crowd Arja believes style and fashion today is all about what's trending on the social media. “People love experimenting with different drapes, mixing boho looks or street fashion with traditional styles. We see people wearing saris over their jeans or with a T-shirt. Wearing it like a dhoti has been a huge hit already! Then we have dual-toned jewellery to match our outfits. This era is all about exploring fashion,” she reiterates.
Arja draws her inspiration from things she grew up with. “I love Music and I listened to some amazing bands as my mother was a big fan of Bonney M. and Abba. My father was a huge fan of Modern Talking and I used to groove to Cheri Cheri Lady when I was just 5. I watched some great films, be it Ray or Tarantino with my father in my teenage years. I am a Potterhead and Friends has always been my favourite TV Show. 80s Bollywood movies are there with the evergreen retro vibe and I loved listening to Coffee House Classics with my parents on the radio. All these inspired me to start Oikkyo Calcutta and have also shaped my taste and preferences,” she tells us.
But Arja wants to explore more sartorial variations and wishes to experiment with dhotis soon. For now, she is busy working on her upcoming winter edit featuring the timeless art of Van Gogh.