Extending their limited edition line with Levi’s, The Ikat Story offers ikat- infused denims
Mumbai-based designer and celebrity stylist Chandni Sareen loves the nostalgia connected with ikat textiles. Probably why she has extensively worked with them even before she set up her brand The Ikat Story in 2015. From creating crop tops and bomber jackets to beach throw-overs and even bikinis, the 29-year-old has been developing a new vocabulary for the handcrafted textile.
“Our home was always filled with ikat. My maternal grandmother’s house was in Bareilly and she always had these beautiful ikat bedspreads, table runners and curtains. Soon I found myself making clothes with fabric from around the house and then had friends asking if I could put something together for them, as well,” she explains. Having mixed and matched various fabrics—cotton and khadi — the designer’s latest experiment combining denim with ikat gained the attention of apparel giant Levi’s, who tied up with her for a limited edition collaboration.
Crafting bespoke pieces by adding ikat patches and tassels, sequins, shells and even handworked zari embroidery to the heritage 501 jeans that were originally invented in 1843, the collection started out as a ‘display-only’ line to be showcased at Levi’s stores. But with enquires flooding in, Chandni is extending her collection to ikat infused denim jackets, shirts and dresses, in addition to customising jeans on request. “No two pieces look similar. I think that has always been the mainstay of the brand. We have been getting a lot of bespoke requests from Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi,” says the designer, whose pieces have been sported by the likes of Nucleya and Monica Dogra.
Taking us through her favourite customisation —a pair of jeans for model Kayaan Shiraz Contractor, Chandni made use of green ikat fringes along the outseams with double ikat patchwork on the pockets.
Already onto sourcing fabric for her next collection, the designer has decided to work with tie-and-dye bandhani artisans from Gujarat and Rajasthan. “I aim to put out two collections every year and I make around 30 pieces for each line.”
Customised denims start at Rs 2,500.