Payal Khandwala's latest collection is an ode to the 16th century poet Mirabai
MUMBAI-BASED DESIGNER Payal Khandwala’s clothes are an extension of her personality — which encapsulates a variety of things but never conforms to any one particular pattern.
Her latest Spring Summer 19’ collection Mira, inspired by the 16th-century saint and poet Mirabai, uses bold, saturated colours, such as crimson, chartreuse, ultraviolet, dusty pink, chocolate and citrine. She hopes to create a look which captures the mood of love and longing, but also resilience and strength. Besides these, the silver and grey shades also capture the vibe of a dull sultry summer evening, on the brink of monsoon.
The designer interprets the concept of Mira, as the fierce, independent, modern Indian woman, who lives by her own rules. She finds Mirabai to be the forerunner of the feminists fighting for equality today. “For me, the inspiration behind Mira was more cerebral. As a child, I was quite fascinated with the story of Mirabai, who defied social conventions in her pursuit of spiritual love for Lord Krishna. Despite being a Rajput woman, she mixed freely with people of all castes and races, and even refused to do the purdah, as was the norm. She was doing back then, what we are trying to do now,” says Payal, whose daughter is also named Mira. Payal had already been an artist for a decade when she launched her label in 2012, and her love for mixing colours is very much informed by her knowledge of the colour theory.
The yardage of saris, which is either in handwoven silk or quill weave, is colour-coded in two-three contrasting s h a d e s, wh i ch c o m p l e m e n t e a ch o t h e r. Occasionally, there are stripes on the blouses, as well as the sari, which breaks the monotony of the solid colours. “I have a very fixed way of working with colours because a lot of it is intuitive. So I just know that silver will work with brown or green with violet. It’s quite similar to how I paint,” she tells us. “Since the saris have a lot of proportion, blouses should be the closest to the body so that you do not add more volume to the ensemble. In this collection, we have kept the blouses very simple —almost bordering on traditional. You can mix and match them with different saris too,” she adds. We see each staple 5.5-metre sari teamed up with a different kind of blouse, such as a V-neck or a pleated top with a round collar, or even shirts, along with handmade brass and leather accessories by Tachi, in geometric shapes. The ‘little sari’ was introduced as a part of Payal’s AW 17’ collection and can be paired with a palazzo and a shirt. This creation is tailor-made for those who love to drape a sari but are quite intimidated by its length. Price on request