Chaitanya Rao’s festive edit combines breezy silhouettes with bold embroidery
Navigating through a schedule of back-to-back shoots, for not one but two movies, and still managing to find time for a new collection, Chaitanya Rao believes that designing for the film industry has spoilt him. “We work on such tight deadlines, where there are multiple changes and new designs that need to be incorporated almost immediately. It seems like I am at my best when I am multi-tasking and have short deadlines,” shares the designer, who is simultaneously working on the costume design for director Ahmed’s action thriller starring Jayam Ravi and Tapsee Pannu, styling and costumes for Nayanthara in Vignesh Shivan’s maiden production Netrikann, along with the creation of his festive edit.
Strike a balance
Set to unveil a limited collection, the series follows a similar aesthetic as the designer’s previous resortwear collection and is all about lightweight fabrics that allow the wearer seamless movement. To this end, the line’s focus is on natural textiles and breezy silhouettes. Think relaxed asymmetrical gowns in organic cotton, sheer organza jackets and georgette shararas with floral prints and a smattering of gota work, all on a base of soothing pastel tones. “While the fabrics were used keeping in mind the weather, it is also a step towards sustainability,” avers Chaitanya, explaining that the collection is designed to be enduring wardrobe pieces as opposed to one-time wears.
While the designer’s pick is the organza jacket and floral palazzo pants — a look that he styled for Andrea Jeremiah — for us, the standout is a minimal off-white sweetheart neckline dress. A key item in the range, the solid coloured gown features the designer’s signature antique gold embroidery.
In the menswear line, most silhouettes are aimed towards regular wedding staples with long kurtas, jackets and bandis that include French knot embroidery and brocade work. The star of this line is the caramel beige double-breasted blazer with tropical prints that one might call bolder than those on the feminine silhouettes. “Men are more open to experimenting with their styling and trying new things. They know exactly what they want and aren’t shying away from prints and colour.”
Choosing to extend his sensibilities to designing footwear for men, the designer will debut eight to 10 shoe styles along with the garments. Look out for monk straps, loafers and moccasins in classic tones like red, tan and royal blue.
Price on request. Chaitanya Rao’s festive line will be unveiled at Masami, KNK Road. On September 28. 11 am onwards.