Designer Mithi Kalra's latest collection underscores Kutch embroidery and harps on sustainability
Made of chemical and pesticide-free organic cotton, the outfits have sensual cuts and sit easily on the skin
Designing outfits from when she was 16, NIFT graduate Mithi Kalra has always made an effort to break away from the popular fashion narrative to come up with something unique. Her debut edit, The Disney Princess Collection, caught the fancy of the fashion connoisseurs at the India Runway Week for magically melding the traditional Madhubani art with the enchanting and essentially Western wardrobe of a typical Disney princess. Her consequent designs in Moonlight Collection too grabbed the attention of the fashionistas for reimagining the galaxies sartorially.
Needless to say, Kalra’s latest crop of designs bears the stamp of her mindfulness, especially during times such as these, when sustaining the environment has become a moot point. For her current collection, Kalra has drawn inspiration from the indigenous embroidery patterns and traditional art prevalent among the tribal community in the Kutch district of Gujarat. “I ensured that the threads used are totally biodegradable. Even the buttons are made of biodegradable wood and the dyes are organic,” informs the Noida-based designer.
Made of chemical and pesticide-free organic cotton, the outfits have sensual cuts and sit easily on the skin. Focussing on Indo-Western and ethnic wear, Kalra has already made quite a name for herself when it comes to frilly and fun drape saris for occasion wear besides the flowing ball gowns and full-length cocktail dresses, and this collection, too, boasts of drape saris and lehengas.
With the horizon of fashion expanding and evolving faster than one might presume, Kalra is quick to catch the tide and adapt to the needs of the time. During the pandemic, she came up with the very functional Zoom Tops that included crop-tops, kaftans and loose-fitted tops to take care of all the virtual meeting wardrobe essentials. “We have to be prepared for any crisis that might raise its head at any time. Fashion is now not only about runway dresses, but incorporates something that you’re wearing while sitting on your lounge,” tells Kalra.
With the pandemic here to stay for some time more, Kalra feels the demand for comfort clothing will still overrule party wear. “Rather, people will want an eclectic blend of loungewear that looks like party wear at the same time,” she reflects.
With a growing desire among the urban and semi-urban young crowd to look fashionable, Kalra feels it isn’t too crowded a market for the homegrown labels to coexist and flourish.
“However, the difficulty lies in bringing forward the works of local artisans and weavers and amalgamating them in modern fashion in an appealing manner,” adds Kalra, who’s currently working on bridal lehengas, high on zardozi-work and enchanting use of gota-patti.
Summer fashion tips
Opt for pastels, especially shades of purple.
Bell-bottom pants and utility pants will be trending.
Go for kaftans for any occasion.
Printed short-dresses and maxi-dresses are always in vogue.
Price on request. On Instagram DM @mithikalra