Expect gingham saris, delicate ruffles and embroidered detailing from Soutache’s latest collection
A model leans delicately against the back of a wooden chair. Tall and lean, she is clad in a cream gingham sari with a muted red border and hand-embroidered flowers in a matching palette. The borders of the sari are attached with ruffles and the same theme is followed in the blouse — dainty ruffles on the sleeves and the same embroidered detailing. The Peter Pan collared blouse is worn under a long sleeveless shrug with muted brown and white stripes. It might all sound a bit busy, but this, the signature look from Soutache’s Spring / Summer 2018 collection, makes for a striking picture. “I’ve been working in my family’s textile export business, catering to brands like Anthro-pologie for 22 years now. So I have a keen eye and an affinity for subtle colours,” explains Gaurika Sharma, whose brand Soutache is two years old.
At her studio, the aim is to celebrate women’s liberation. This translates to her silhouettes that are free flowing, easy, unstructured and comfortable. “I’m trying to create a niche for myself by focusing on wearability. I’ve seen that many designers in India lack that quality,” she shares. With that in mind, she sticks to fabrics that are easy to wear and breathable, such as cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. “It’s very important for me to work with natural fibres, as I believe that that’s true luxury,” she tells us. However, she slots herself in a category “that’s not high end luxury, but not mid-level either.”
Taking the focus back to her latest collection, Gaurika reveals that she found herself thinking of a specific type of floral detailing after she accidentally stumbled upon a floral print she had developed about 10 years ago. “That was the starting point and then I tried pairing it with gingham checks to create a strong look and feel for the line,” says the designer about the garments that spell vintage romance. The sari is one of the key looks but the collection also boasts shift dresses with balloon sleeves, skinny linen trousers, and roomy Bohemian tops.
After the Summer line, Gaurika next turns to French impressionist paintings for inspiration for her Winter collection. “Expect brushstrokes and flowers that imitate the art of that era,” she reveals adding that she will also be using wool in a big way with a sprinkling of sparkles to make them evening-wear appropriate.
Rs.8,000 upwards. At Collage Shop India, Wood Street