Namitha Dalmia’s Ssidhh Studio in Kolkata manipulates fabric to create stunning leghengas
AT FIRST LOOK, you may be forgiven for thinking that Namitha R Dalmia is just another designer. However, a quick walk through her collection will show you this creative couturier’s penchant for experimenting, and her confidence in her craft. She always wanted Ssidhh Studio to have a distinct identity, and it’s her intelligent play with her fabrics, which she calls origami on her handlooms, that makes her edits stand out. The technique of fabric manipulation, forming varied geometric shapes on her bespoke lehengas, give them a 3D effect, and sets them apart from the regular traditional ones.
A particular indigo lehenga in tussar silk with minimal zari work and zig-zag texturing, inspired by a pattern from furniture, caught our attention. “Inspiration can come from anywhere — from nature, buildings and even furniture at home. This one was designed by my son Udayan, who joined me three years ago. He took inspiration from a coffee-table’s pattern,” offers the designer, as she shows us around her 10-year-old Kankurgachi atelier, wearing a kurti made from leftover fabrics from her previous collections.
Her blouse collection is in line with contemporary tastes and features structured peplum, flattering jackets, bold bustier tops and more. We loved a set with a white shirt that had zari detailing on the collar and cuffs, with origami texturing covering the shoulders like armour. The structuring of the top was chic, and it can also be worn with a pair of jeans or culottes, suggests 47-year-old Dalmia, who has a diploma in fashion studies from INIFD Salt Lake. She also holds a degree in Chartered Accountancy, and has been a rank holder. Her prêt line is modern and makes a statement for its architectural texturing, organic dyes and smart cuts. Though Namita does not make ensembles for relatively less-important occasions like engagements, and mehndi or haldi gatherings, her edits are dressy as well as wearable. For her spring/summer collection she is planning jumpsuits with ethnic profiles, apart from jacket dresses and evening gowns.
Lehengas start at `30,000