House of Torani’s collection, Chatt, pairs chintz prints with embroidery techniques like aari and kasuti
When Karan Torani launched his label, House of Torani, in 2018, he had Rs.1 lakh in his bank account. He had to take on side jobs to pay his team of two tailors and one master. Karan, who travelled to places like Chanderi, Bhuj and Madhubani to learn the local crafts, before the launch, took a year to design the collection. Once designed, he put it up online and that’s how it all started. “After about two weeks of our website going live, we got calls from leading multi-label boutiques. We started stocking in Ensemble’s Khan Market store almost immediately. Now, we’re present in about 17 stores across the country,” shares the designer. Today, his clothes have been worn by A-list stars like Vidya Balan, Radhika Apte and Kangana Ranaut.
The aesthetic is a reflection of the culture that Karan grew up with — a seamless blend of Sindhi traditions and his own modern take of the same. “Finding my roots — that’s what my brand has become,” he states, adding, “More importantly, I want to high-light the fact that they are inspired by the traditional clothing of ordinary women. A lot has been said and done about what the maharanis wore, but they form a very small part of it all.” For his Autumn-Winter 2019 collection, Chatt, he found inspiration from the clothes left to dry on roofs and terraces.
The many moods of ‘chatt’ such as vibrant clothes blowing in the wind and red chillies spread out in the heat, inform the colour palette and visuals of the collection. Think black, aqua green, mustard yellow and teal. The textiles used are handwoven Chanderi, mulberry silk, velvet and organza, all detailed with Balochi mirror work, besides aari, kasuti and Kutchi embroidery. Fashioned into salwars, shawls, saris, dresses, lehengas and blouses, other details like tassels and chintz prints (created by kalamkari artists in Telangana), add to the appeal of the clothes.
Declaring that he will continue to dive into heritage and culture, Karan reveals that his Festive 2020 collection Surmah, which was just released, is an all-black one with colour coming solely from the embroidery.
Rs.28,000 upwards. At Collage Shop India, Wood Street