Chennai label, Dvaa's latest collection Love Letters offers easy-to-wear, fuss-free silhouettes in Jamdani weaves
Love Letters from the Past (Vol 1) — the name of Chennai-based label Dvaa’s latest collection isn’t a forlorn anthology of poetry as its title appears to suggest. Designer Seethai Bagavathi can’t help but smile at our theory that the memory of some long lost love led to the creation of her newest line. “In fact, the story behind the line is quite the contrary,” assures the NIFT, Chennai graduate, as she explains, “Love Letters from the Past is an ode to the happy, growing up years from my childhood. Many people will agree that their pre-teens and teenage years were the most carefree they had ever been. The collection is a reflection of this sentiment.”
Defined by an easy-to-wear, no-fuss aesthetic, the collection that released earlier this week offers separates like dresses, tunics, kurtas, crop tops, pants and co-ord sets in organic hand-dyed hues of marigold, indigo and ivory. “The silhouettes are simple, without too much embellishments — a mix of classic and everyday wardrobe staples,” she says. As for the motifs and surface detailing that went into the collection, the 29-year-old shares that old photographs and memories of her childhood wardrobe played a major role. Ruffled frocks with lace and button detailing translated into breezy A-line cuts with pleated yokes, tassels and buttoned-down sleeves, while the motifs — bubbles and butterflies, were visual cues to the past.
Gravitating towards light-weight fabrics, Love Letters utilises handwoven jamdani muslin and khadi — a weave that the brand specialises in, we learn. “I first set up the brand in 2015 when I was in Mumbai,
during which I experimented with multiple Indian textile crafts. I dabbled with Kutch embroidery, later on, used ajrakh and dabu block prints. However, I always felt that I was limited by the pre-existing design constraints. Jamdani allowed me the freedom to start working on a design from scratch,” explains Seethai, who collaborates with over 50 weavers in and around West Bengal. “Being involved in every aspect of the making gives you a great deal of freedom — from providing design directives during the weaving process to creating a specific type of textile that is unique to the brand.”
While having set up a 300 sq ft storefront at Alwarpet as recently as September this year, Seethai
continues to juggle between her workspace in Mumbai — where most of the ensembles are created, and Chennai — where the finishing touches are added.
Taking three months from conceptualisation to creation, the designer reveals that a Festive collection is already in queue for release. Affording a sneak peek into the line, Shoebox of Photographs will be unveiled on November 15 and paper boats, planes and florals are key motifs to keep an eye out for.
Love Letters (Vol 1) starts at Rs 4,000 onwards.