Celebrated couturier Paromita Banerjee unveils her summer collection, Raindrops and Roses, online
Amidst the pall of gloom that has descended, thanks to the lockdown, faint rays of positivity are filtering through, with people from all walks of life trying to overcome the pandemic and surge ahead in their own small ways. And city-based designer Paromita Banerjee, celebrated for her designs in pure weaves surely is one of them. Despite the depressive atmosphere, the couturier just unveiled her summer collection, online. Named Raindrops and Roses, the handwoven classic edit in sorbet coloured pastel shades of custard yellow, green tea, mint, coral, ginger and washed blues, is inspired by the classic song sung by Julie Andrews in the cult movie The Sound of Music (1965).
The fine woven muslin and linen fabrics have occasional gold and silver zari popping out in stripes and detailing, making this breezy line of summer separates apt for the lazy afternoons. We had a chat with the petite torchbearer of handicraft industry about the collection and more. Excerpts:
How difficult was it to create an online collection during the lockdown?
When we had launched the website (paromita-banerjee.com) about six months ago, we wanted to take our collections to places where we didn’t retail from brick and mortar outlets besides reaching out to our international clients Being a hardcore handwoven centric brand specialising in in-house weaves, initially, I was a bit sceptical to have an online presence since one would love to ‘touch and feel’ the fabric before making a purchase. But I was pleasantly surprised. We retail through 14-16 multi-designer stores across the country and all of them are shut due to the lockdown. Hence, we decided to launch our summer classics collection online. I am aware that the sales would not be on par with our past sale figures during a launch. But this is the new ‘normal’ we are talking about.
How do you see the lockdown affecting the fashion business in the long run?
Clothing is one of the highest revenue generators since we need clothing for various occasions, all the time. But the catch-22 is that now there will be less disposable income to spend on non-essential or fancy items of clothing. I feel people would be willing to spend on items that are classic and not confined to a particular season. They would prefer clothes that last longer, can be reused and are almost trans-seasonal. I am glad that for the past ten years, I have been concentrating on slow fashion that has stood the test of time.
What’s your advice for fashion this summer?
I have a feeling, this summer would be all about staying indoors due to the lockdown and offices enforcing rules of work-from-home. So, take each day with more than a pinch of salt and aim at buying from those cluster of brands rooted in the philosophy of handmade/handcrafted items where you would be contributing to the many hands that go towards creating the products.
How are you spending the time during lockdown?
I have always been a workaholic and work was almost a religion for me. But over the past few years, I had also mastered the art of juggling, all thanks to my toddler! This lockdown has taught me two things — patience and valuing time. Pausing and re-inventing is our only way out. Available online. Items will be delivered post lockdown.