Expect vintage Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor and more from this Bengaluru label
Last Saturday, a pop-up at the charming, old Bangalore-style courtyard of The Bohemian House, a co-working space and home decor shop, saw the launch of a new city-based store. Grandma Would Approve (GWA), a vintage wear brand by fashion designer Priyanka Muniyappa and stylist Anugrah Phillips, offers clothes that are as offbeat as its name. In focusing on this particular subculture of fashion, the duo is joining the ranks of other Indian stores such as Nagaland-based Carol’s Shop, Mumbai’s Red Empress and Bodements and Bengaluru-based Disco.Very.Culture. The market for vintage wear in India is niche, but going by trends on social media, it’s definitely gathering pace.
Stitch in time
“I think our grandmothers were the pioneers of sustainability because they would reuse and recycle every bit of fabric instead of just throwing them away. That’s where the name comes from,” begins Priyanka, adding, “Fashion produces a lot of waste. My partner, Anugrah, and I wanted a way to reduce it.” So while the USP of the brand hinges on retro clothing hand-picked from boutiques in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and America, they also address the problem of excess fabric and discarded clothes through their sub-sections — Stitch (which sees them bringing together scraps of fabric and turning them into various products) and Restore (through which they restore and resell used clothing given to them by acquaintances). “For instance, one of our friends’ father gave us his old oversized military denim jacket that we restored by changing the zips and replacing the pockets. So many resources are used to create one piece of clothing and the idea of throwing it away just makes me so uncomfortable,” says the designer.
Eye on luxury
The other categories that make up GWA are — Curated (featuring clothes from lesser known brands from within and outside India) and Reconstructed (which involves taking 10 different garments and turning them into a single one). “This is one of the most important features of the label for which we employ an artisan who is both a master tailor and pattern master,” says Priyanka. One of her favourite finds is a Ralph Lauren tweed jacket made in the ’70s. “When we took it apart to work on, we were blown away by the craftsmanship that had gone into it. Every single piece was hand-stitched,” she recalls. Apart from Ralph Lauren, the collection, which boasts over 300 products that include jackets, skirts, dresses, shirts, blouses and trousers, also features names like Alfred Dunner, Ann Taylor and Salt Creek. “We’ve taken close to two-and-a-half years to put this collection together. Our next step is to try to extend into accessories, bags and jewellery, while also continuing to build our inventory of clothes,” she says, signing off.
Rs.1,800 upwards. Available online