Quirky motifs for all
Elzaba Ipe plays with traditional hand block prints in men’s wear with a twist
Kurtis and crop tops adorned with flamboyant motifs are making waves everywhere. Now, designer Elzaba Ipe is giving a quirky twist to men’s shirts with these prints that are usually considered feminine. Regardless of age and gender, the young designer brings out Indo-western wear, adding the right amount of tradition through her brand L’zaba.
Handpicking fabric from across the country, she creates gender-neutral shirts, dresses with dramatic sleeves, dungarees, and shirt dresses in organic cotton. Though Elzaba had a corporate background, it didn’t affect her knack for patching up mismatching fabrics since childhood. “I never lost my interest in fabrics and designing, even during my higher studies. After a year of working in the corporate world, I took a short-term course at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). I started with women’s wear. But later, I discovered my interest in curating men’s fashion,” says Elzaba.
L’zaba currently in transition to become fully sustainable. By curating outfits in cotton, the venture aims to bring comfort to the fore. “We are becoming sustainable by promoting zero wastage. I use the excess materials to make scrunchies, journals, headbands and travel kits,” says Elzaba. The hand block prints created using traditional methods are dyed with vegetable dyes.
Elzaba’s vision is to strike a balance between fashion and comfort. Despite having a sustainable tag, the outfits come with a pop of colours. The entrepreneur believes that sustainability doesn’t mean working with only neutral tones. Though L’zaba’s new trends have many takers, the brand only releases one size per design. “I want our collections to be unique and not common. So, we produce only limited stock,” adds Elzaba.
The handwoven outfits stand apart with their quirky patterns like glasses, flowers, animals and traditional hand block designs. Indian hand block prints look ravishing on even 80 years olds, claims Elzaba. “I always wondered why these patterns never made it to men’s wear. We are conditioned to see men in plain shirts. People now give these casual clothes to their grandparents,” she says.
The brand also offers printed kids’ wear. With designs that are hardly found in this category, L’zaba is opening up a new trend in children’s fashion too. Comfort is the key to designing attires for kids, says the young designer.