Mahila, a Danish brand with Indian connect has a new drop of dreamy dresses

It was born out of founder Maria Palmerston’s sheer love for indigenous textiles.
A design from Mahila The Label's drop
A design from Mahila The Label's drop

Danish brand Mahila the label has lovely summer-friendly designs. As we delve into the history of the brand, we understand it has a deep Indian connection. It was born out of founder Maria Palmerston’s sheer love for indigenous textiles. We learn that she has explored India and its crafts rather extensively.

“Since I was a young girl, my parents took me around the globe to engage with new cultures and people. My fascination was always drawn towards textiles. I’ve been collaborating with local tailors and seamstresses wherever I’ve been,” shares the fabric enthusiast who obtained a master’s degree in Textile Design from the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Design. “For my final master project, I decided to dive into the textile heritage of India,” says Maria who is based out of Copenhagen, Denmark. The journey of the label started when she arrived in India in January 2020 for research, just before the first wave of COVID-19 broke out.

Earthy colours and chic motifs
Earthy colours and chic motifs

Culture connect
Maria mentions that her love for Indian textiles is deep-rooted in her affection for people here and respect towards the culture. The label thrives on its association with independent craftsmen and tailors.

During her trip here, she also met Isha Panjabi, who handles the Indian operations of the label. “I bought a lot of beautiful block-printed textiles during my stint here and located different tailors to either borrow their sewing machines or create some styles together,” she elaborates, looking back at how it started. Even after her return to Denmark, she has continued working with textiles from here since the launch of the label a year ago in April.

Crafted from organic cotton
Crafted from organic cotton

Sustainable route
Mahila’s drops aren’t defined by seasons and trends. They launch capsule collections to be as sustainable as possible. They take pre-orders to clamp down on resource waste. “We believe that a better fashion industry has to avoid and minimise overproduction,” suggests Maria. The aesthetics of the brand offer a rather unique mix of Scandinavian and Indo-Western style. “The new drop encourages freedom and ease of movement with wide flowy skirts, open back details and a general playful attitude to colours and shape,” says Maria, adding that the cuts with tie-in strings to fit the dresses and tops will flatter most body types.

String theory
The dresses from the latest capsule are identified by their names. The Mona Dress, for example, offers ruffles at the waist while on the Enola Dress, the ruffles define the shoulder part. “The Enola dress is made to make you feel empowered and I truly get that feeling when wearing it,” adds the founder. The colours chosen are from earthy hues like ecru, chocolate brown, peach and ivory. She has used organic cotton for the latest collection with miniature printed motifs. Highlights like open backs, ruffles and hemlines make them look feminine. They also seem comfortable enough for Indian summers.

All the styles in the new drop are now available for pre-order.
Rs 7,600 upwards.

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