NorBlack NorWhite celebrates its anniversary with an edgy reinterpreting of bandhini
Eight years in the industry, and luxury streetwear label NorBlack NorWhite is once again spelling out a fact that is often overshadowed by the umbrella phrase Indian textile traditions and crafts, that the dress of the common man has often proven to be an inspiration for many runway collections and fast fashion brands (Remember Zara’s lungi skirt?) “Street culture is something that is older and wiser in India than most people often give it credit for. Artistes are constantly looking at the streets, villages and daily life for inspiration. The idea of it being commercialised and categorised into a culture is something new,” explains Canadian-born Mriga Kapadiya, co-founder of NorBlack NorWhite.
Circling back to the first-ever motif that the label worked on for their debut collection, NBNW’s Chhota Mota collection is a hark back to when Mriga along with designer Amrit Kumar launched the label in 2010 following an afternoon (that stretched into a couple of weeks) with artisans in a Gujarat village learning about bandhini. “We were reminiscing about how much we love it and now that we have a larger audience, we wanted to bring it back to life for more people to experience,” says Mriga.
With comfort and visual appeal taking precedence over other factors, the label’s breezy, quirky silhouettes are an expression of who the brand’s wearers are — someone with an edgy lifestyle and isn’t afraid of colours and patterns. Featuring an array of styles, the Chhota Mota collection offers everything from slip dresses and bomber jackets, to co-ord sets and saris. “We are excited that people are experimenting with style and identity and not strictly conforming to high fashion or classical ideas of what style can look like.”
Dissimilar from staple bandhini styling, where a consistent knot size runs throughout, the line from NBNW uses varying knot sizes which represents the brand’s ideology of diversity. “The number of circles and how closely they are tied to each other represents the class and status of the person wearing it,” says Mriga. “The more circles, the higher the class. We want to spread these motifs as far as possible, with varying shapes and sizes to celebrate the range of shapes and sizes that make up life,” she adds. Monochrome in its colour palette, the limited edition collection is created on handwoven silk. Continuing their experiments with the tie and dye technique until they feel uninspired, the designer duo is currently exploring the North East for inspiration and they have set their sights on the South for future lines.
Rs 7,000 upwards.