Hashtag Azhagi debuts its first collection of fun dresses with Vaan, and yes they have pockets!
With over 15K followers on social media, Madhu Rekha, the brain behind the widely loved Instagram brand Hashtag Azhagi couldn’t help but wonder what next. The 29-year-old software graduate-turned-designer had, after all, built the brand from scratch in 2017 — and its success majorly hinged on its wide selection of sari drapes that sported unique colour combinations, handblocked patchwork and the signature elephant motif. “I was never a trained designer, but it was an idea that remained buried at the back of my mind. My switch to fashion came after I finished my post-graduation in Fashion Management from NIFT and after a year of working decided to start my own label.” As an attempt to challenge her sensibilities, Madhu decided to experiment with new silhouettes and now has launched Hashtag Azhagi’s first collection of dresses.
Easy does it
Named Vaan, which translates to the sky, the collection comprises casual, easy-to-wear dresses in a range of handblocked cotton fabrics and bright colours. “We are starting slowly and currently offer four silhouettes and four variations of the fit and flare dress. Since, as a brand, we have been known for our saris, we decided to ease our clients into these new options and not go overboard.” Keeping in line with the growing demand for contemporary ethnic wear, Vaan’s hemlines flit between midis and maxis. An element of fun, however, comes from its interesting necklines, playful pintuck and ruffle detailing, flirty sleeves and functional pockets.
Silver screen romance
“We’ve also had some fun naming the dresses. The collection, in part, was also inspired by the female characters from Mani Ratnam and Gautham Vasudev Menon’s movies. They are strong, unbridled and elegant and these characteristics tie into the dresses in some shape or form,” says the Bengaluru-based designer, explaining the names of the dresses — Jessi, Anjali and Tara. “I love the Friends series too. So you’ll find names like Monica, Rachel and Phoebe as well,” she adds, with a laugh.
While Hashtag Azhagi has another collection of linen dresses in its pipeline, their next release — scheduled ahead of Diwali — will include a range of Chanderi cotton saris in pastel hues and linen saris in bright summery shades.