Designer Rina Singh on the journey of Eka and her new collection, Kinship
One of Eka designer Rina Singh’s favourite stories to tell is of how she met the renowned Maureen Doherty, who runs the avant-garde multi-designer boutique, Egg in London. “In 2010, I made a small line, packed it and went to London to a trade show, which was a disaster. But on the last day, I was to visit the boutique Egg, run by Maureen Doherty. I was headed to Egg, after a show that ran late. I was in a hurry and took directions from a woman in a beautiful white coat and dress, with lots of pansies in a basket. When I reached the store, I met Maureen, sipping tea, in the same white coat and dress with the flowers on the table. We sat down and she selected and edited from my suitcase full of clothes. That was my first Eka order and I have never looked back,” recalls Rina, whose off-beat aesthetic fit right in with the spirit of Egg. That was almost a decade ago. Today, her clothes are sought after by celebrities like Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Priyanka Bose and Tilottama, and retail out of 50-60 stores across the world.
Kinship, their latest collection, Rina shares is ‘a convergence of diverse global references.’ With a focus on natural weaves, such as wool, silk, linen, cotton and khadi, that are made to order (they don’t work with off-the-rack, Rina clarifies), layered and easy silhouettes, a colour story that is subtle without being grim, and a detailed approach to fit and form, the line possesses a romantic Bohemian vibe. “Summer stripes, warm and cool sunbaked colour-blocking, contrasting textures and billowy silhouettes, mark the collection. Gentle frills, tiered layers reminiscent of Victorian fashion, and broderie anglaise can also be found,” says the designer, adding that the tunics from this collection are must-haves. “They are immensely versatile and travel seamlessly through all occasions. They can be worn as dresses or paired with trousers,” she tells us.
As someone who grew up being exposed to farm life, practising sustainability, even before it became fashionable, Rina is very conscious about how her clothes are made. “My father is an agriculturist so we had farmlands. Our way of living was always very organic and sustainable. The use of local materials and crafts has been a given in my family,” reveals Rina, who works with handloom clusters in and around West Bengal. “Sustain-ing the weavers to keep up their craft adds that element of sustainability to my business,” adds the designer who is currently working on an Autumn/Winter collection with a bold colour palette and a line of interiors for the first time.
Rs.5,500 upwards. Available online