Comfortable cuts, dresses with pockets and a capsule line for men are the highlights of Ela’s Birthday Edit
Slow fashion has always been viewed as a sustainable alternative to mass-produced apparel. But for designer Bindu Nair, it meant a change in the pace of her lifestyle. A former journalist who spent nearly 20 years working in New Delhi and Mumbai, the idea of building something of value and living in a small town was a thought that constantly weighed heavily in her mind. Working out the details of running a sustainable label that directly engaged with weavers in Kerala, Bindu launched Ela (a Malayalam word that translates to leaf) earlier last year. All set for the first anniversary, we get a sneak peek into the brand’s The Birthday Edit that will be launched during the second week of February.
Noticing that mobility and comfort are key areas of concern for working women, Ela’s focus is on comfort fits and understated chic, “I design Ela’s collections based on the idea of ‘simple elegance for every day.’ Women are looking for clothes that make them look and feel good. I feel a classic, minimal aesthetic works all year round,” says Bindu, adding that all their dresses come with pockets. “We believe pockets make all the difference,” she says with a laugh. A departure from the brand’s signature monochrome hues in chambray, The Birthday Edit explores a larger colour palette of reds, pinks and stripes.
For all men
In addition to A-line dresses, kurtas, boxy shirts and jackets, Ela is introducing a range of shirts for women and wardrobe staples with the new line. “These are pieces that you can mix and match with other clothes in your wardrobe.” Also, coinciding with the anniversary, the Palakkad-based brand will be unveiling a capsule collection that offers summer shirts for men.
Working with handloom cotton from clusters in Kerala, Ikat from Telangana and handwoven linen from Gujarat, Bindu tells us that visiting master weavers and craftspeople is the best part of the job. Exploring the Instagram market place, the designer engages her followers by offering styling tips with statement pieces from the brand. “Customers aren’t always able to imagine the different ways in which they can wear a certain piece. The Ila shirt, for example, pairs well with high waisted trousers and skirts, which isn’t that obvious at first sight. Our Boxy top can be layered as an open jacket as well. The popular Kamna jacket with a blue Ikat print looks good with shorter outfits or can be worn with a camisole and cigarette pants,” concludes Bindu.
Available online. Rs 1,900 onwards.