Design label Mae is transforming the traditional gunghat into a statement piece
Jayeta Rohilla is quite candid about the clothes she designs. For the Gujarat-born, Haryana-raised designer, her designs represent the kind of clothing she wishes she had when growing up. “Something that represented me,” Jayeta reiterates. Translated into English as ‘I’, the brand Mae that is India’s traditional textile form in the modern world caught netizen attention earlier last month with the brand’s Gunghat Hoodies. Having found international fans in Grammy-award winning artiste Raja Kumari and musician Monica Dogra, the brand is slowly gaining ground in the country with rapper Divine asking the 28-year-old to design a look for the 2019 Ranveer Singh-starrer Gully Boy.
Blast from the past
A blend of childhood memories from Haryana and her travels through Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sweden, and China before moving back to Delhi, her hoodie designs are informed by the repressive nature of the gunghat that is used to veil a person’s identity. “The initial purpose of the gunghat was to hide the identity of a woman so she felt safe. However, the world has changed. The gunghat in itself takes away an individual’s identity but, the Gunghat Hoodie adds to your identity. People are curious and want to know who wears this piece of apparel,” says the fashion graduate from the Institute of Apparel Management, New Delhi.
Old wine, new bottle
Striking a balance between functionality and Indian craftsmanship, the collection features a vibrant colour palette with intricate zari and brocade designs. Think blue hoodies in cotton wool with paisley designs and fuschia pink silk brocade hoodies for women on one hand and bomber jackets in black silk with brocade work and ghunguroos for men on the other. “It is really liberating to see people acknowledging our gender-neutral clothing. I think I am an awkward talker and communicate better with my work about the India that I see and the Indian I wish to represent.” Ascribing different influences to each of her creations the New-Delhi-based designer’s latest addition to her hoodie line the turquoise blue Mughal Dre Hoodie set is inspired by Mughal embroidery and hip-hop.
Keeping it real
Forwarding her signature style of breaking stereotypes and celebrating diversity, the designer chooses not to work with professional models saying, “We love to work with people who are comfortable with their personalities. These are the kind of women we like to reflect.”
Check out their collection online at mae.co.in and follow their IG page at @maepeople. Rs 8,000 upwards