Devika Churiwal's newest line-up brings the beloved batik into luxury cocktail wear
Devika Churiwal is bringing the good ol’ batik into the cocktail wear spectrum; her eponymous luxury fashion label has always focused on festive, contemporary-inspired fusion and ethnic wear. And when it comes to occasion dressing, millennials and Gen-Z naturally steer towards the chic and relaxed memo, but also want something that’s one-of-a-kind. Which is exactly why Churiwal’s hand-crafted statement pieces have been making waves in the city’s fashion scene. Her latest collection Treasures of Time explores all the ways the batik (an Asian resist dyeing technique) print technique can be brought into urban festive dressing, as it balances old world charm and new age sensibilities.
“We essentially wanted to bring together batiks with our embroideries; the batik dupattas, for instance, have been made in Malbari silk and we have used silk chanderi as well. So when it comes to Indo-western silhouettes, batik and a dash of embroidery can really enhance any ensemble, it can really switch up the vibe,” Churiwal tells us. The intricate hand-printed batik detailing is something we don’t usually see when we are shopping for something celebratory, and that’s exactly why the designer chose to go with it. “We always aimed towards a cocktail vibe, and we have been really meticulous about the silhouettes. For instance, we have draped saris, we have kaftans so the silhouette really matters there,” the designer adds.
Despite her adventurous silhouettes, the designer has always stressed on a sense of ease and hassle-free wearability, even with her most elaborate pieces. So even an ornate sari is toned down in symmetry and colour scheme. We were naturally keen to know why Churiwal zeroed in on the Batik, considering it has never been that visible in the festive wear memo, even in contemporary fashion. “Batik has such a rich history with Bengal; and previously we had stocked batik dupattas at our store and we got an amazing response, so we decided to come up with a collection where we can explore the technique further. We have tried to modernise it, like the motifs and the detailing we have used I think they work on everybody,” we are told.
Churiwal who also enjoys a starry clientele, has only had her own label for a year now, but has already made a distinct impression on the keen fashion explorers. But sustaining a luxury brand in Kolkata is no cake walk, even for the most prolific couturier. “If a piece is hand-embroidered and crafted from scratch, there’s a lot of effort involved. It is difficult to accommodate the price bracket most people are expecting. Since, the market has been slow as well, we have tried to keep this collection within Rs 25,000," she reveals.