Kolkata designer Shreya Jalan Mehta embraces imperfection in her silhouettes
ACHANCE enrollment into a year’s course in fashion turned chemistry student Shreya Jalan Mehta into a couturier, who launched her eponymous label in 2018. “I didn’t expect to crack the test, and I ended up finishing the course! It gave me a very different insight into the subject. I realised that fashion is beyond just cuts and styles, and also that creativity cannot be acquired. It is inherent,” explains Shreya, 27, confessing that chemistry might actually be easier to master than fashion. She adds, “After completing the course, my apprenticeship under Delhi designer Nikasha Tawadey exposed me to the practical side of design, and I also launched the online label Rosale with a friend. After marriage, when I shifted to Kolkata, I decided to launch my own label.”
Nature as muse
Her designs are heavily inspired by nature, and her ensembles are replete with floral motifs. Her latest collection Bagia reflects her dedication to details, making her stand out as a designer. Shreya embraces imperfection and keeps her designs natural. She offers, “I designed the floral prints myself, and one might notice that the leaves and petals are not perfect. They are discoloured, torn, and broken. I consciously kept it that way. One should celebrate imperfection.” The styles and cuts of the Bagia collection are trendy. A trench dress — a combination of a trench coat and a dress — would make a statement on a beach or at an afternoon par ty. Another one with a bustier top and jacket with trousers looked chic with its structured fall. Shreya suggests accessorising it with boots and chandelier earrings. Another collection stood out for its small floral motifs, painted by an artist. The soft shades of the flowy fabric make for an ideal summer look. “I got an artist to make the flowers on the fabric. That way, all the pieces are unique,” says the young couturier, pointing at the soft linen of the outfits that forms an inner layer of the dresses. “Fashion is not just about outer beauty, but also about the inner self. With the same principle, I use soft cotton linen as a base to make it more comfortable. And that’s what sets me apar t from a boutique designer.” Another distinct feature of Shreya’s edit is the 3D flowers that she uses in her collection. The festive collection is replete with the 3D hand-embroidered flowers, involving different techniques, to create a bedazzled look.