The prized matsutake mushroom turns muse for A Humming Way’s luxury pret line

A Humming Way's new pret line is inspired by the resilience of mushrooms

author_img U.Roy Published :  20th August 2021 02:03 AM   |   Published :   |  20th August 2021 02:03 AM
A humming way

Mushroom Top & Onyx embellished Laurel belt (L) and the Lamp Chime skirt (r) by A Humming Way

Fungi is quietly shaping the future of ethical luxury as Iris Van Herpen, Stella McCartney, Hermes steer towards mushroom-based alternatives. The luxury couture label A Humming Way rethinks the fungi motif to establish its broader significance. Mushrooms, particularly a mycorrhizal variant known as Matsutake, is the focal point of A Humming Way’s sustainable pret line, which was showcased at the 2020 New York Fashion Week.

a humming way
Fungi Inspired Onyx Embellished Laurel Belt With Falling Threads

The matsutake only grows in human-disturbed areas, it was in fact, the first living thing to grow in the charred Hiroshima landscape. Figuratively, the matsutake embodies how ecology and culture can cohabitate. “The Matsutake line was innately inspired by the characteristic traits of mushrooms, how they heal the forest, how they teach us to co-exist with the disruptions around us.  This fascinates me, the collection is driven by the idea of creating something uncompromisingly beautiful in the most unwelcoming of situations,” A Humming Way’s Sweta Agarwal shares. 

The trans-seasonal approach

A Humming Way doesn’t work with season-led collections - a production route that is attracting Gen-Z fashion creators keen on curbing waste and surplus stock. “We have three ongoing lines, The khadi line, The organza line and the fabric fluid line, and we simply keep updating them with newer pieces,” Agarwal says. Fabric manipulation has been key to the label’s design journey be it for crocheting handspun organic khadi into something chicer or to emulate the sleek ridges and slippery gills of mushrooms with artisanal pleats. 

A sculptural number by A Humming Way

“The modern consumer is investing more in cover-ups, jackets and classic trousers, pieces that can take you anywhere. They love that transition because it's effortless. Gen-Z buyers have become really responsible, they think about sustainability because they want something that can last in their wardrobes for years. They are looking for designs that add value to their tastes,” Agarwal remarks. 

The butterfly effect

A Humming Way uses a utility-first design philosophy even when working with maximalism; we’re talking inverted barrel tops with corset stripes, A-line handwoven batik skirts, chic bodysuit blouses and even sash and corset armour tops. Agarwal thinks the shift towards conscious, careful fashion consumption has helped labels gauge the post-pandemic marketspace.

A monochrome look from the Matsutake line

“We experienced two different kinds of demand from the audience, which is why we’re now coming up with Humming Way Atelier that will focus on Indian festive wear, featuring experimental clothing styled ethnically. While the other segment focuses on the global evolution. Comfort really is key to fashion at the moment and it has changed how people shop. Versatile, recyclable picks are doing really well, as are simple silhouettes in fresh colours,” Agarwal shares.

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