The winter collection at 145 East is all about keeping warm and reviving the gamcha
With their new designs, this Kolkata-based brand aims to revive undervalued Bengali fabrics and relationships, all at once
From Jodhpur Park to pop- ups in Dallas, London, and Bengaluru, Kolkata-based label 145 East has been reviving the humble Bengali towel — or gamcha — and how! Apart from launching their winter collection, 145 East has also directed, styled and edited a video, See Me Now, with Monica Dogra, and Shibani Dandekar, where they wear ensembles from the label as they sing a song that challenges hackneyed gender norms. And that is something the label, helmed by Rishabh — who studied in Bard College, New York — and his mum, Shoma, does too. When we dropped by their studio to check out their latest designs, we were first greeted by Leo, the labrador, who we spotted with a gamcha bow tie from their label.
“We wanted to raise money for our grandf at h e r ’s N G O i n Chandannagore and build basic infrastructure for a clinic,” says Rishabh. Shoma adds, “On one of our visits to Chandannagore, we came across these artisans, who had given up their trade because the craft is on the decline. That’s when we got in touch and started creating ensembles with organic fabric, which are suited to humid conditions and are eco-friendly too,” offers Shoma. Their garments have an a n t i - f i t B o h e m i a n sensibility, and are often a riot of vibrant colours, with a lot of striking names that are easy to remember. “Before our pop-ups abroad, we were told that incorporating some pastels and toning down the colours would be a good idea! But we didn’t want to do that as it didn’t feel authentic enough,” explains Shoma.
Their winter collection has a range of functional jackets that are unisex as they create gender neutral clothing, hence binaries are a strict no-no. We checked out jackets and coats, all made out of the gamcha fabric, fused with khadi and cotton, with loose and baggy silhouettes. “In our winter collection, we’re all about revival. Revival of the gamcha, of relationships, of our roots,” shares Shoma, adding, “We love it when our friends and family drop by to have a look at our latest collection. It gives us immense joy when a mother-daughter duo or a mother-son duo get themselves similar garments, as it looks quirky and appeals to all.” One can pick from a range of reversible jackets and coats. The best bit is that their ensemblesare entirely body positive, and cut across all ages and waistlines. One can also look out for their kaftans, scarves, gamcha accessories and bows. Apart from Leo’s warm welcome and the creatively crafted jackets, what stayed with us as we left after our studio visit were the catchy names of the ensembles — the Bass Player and The Hefner, for instance. The latter, a kneelength reversible jacket in bold red, as the name suggests, was inspired by the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner, of course!
Available online. From Rs 4,000 onwards for reversible jackets