Ethereal state of mind: Noida-based fashion label ‘Cloud Stories’ launches summer line
Noida-based label Ilk’s co-founder on how they managed to capture the beauty of billowy clouds in their latest sartorial collection
You could be just about anyone you’re probably someone waking up to live in and don all-things-goth; have a strong liking for all things ethnic; or have always been rooting for WFH-esque comfortable clothing. No matter what your fashion persona, if you’ve ever walked in the open, it’s highly unlikely that nephophilia or not you wouldn’t have taken a moment to marvel at the billowy clouds that shroud the sky. It was this wispy and dreamy element of nature that Shikha Grover Goel (39) and Vinita Adhikari (37), the co-founders of Noida-based fashion label Ilk, were drawn to when conceptualising their summer collection ‘Cloud Stories’. The duo recently introduced ‘Cloud Stories-After Hours’, a festive extension of their summer line.
Before becoming co-creators and business partners, the Noida-resident Shikha and Vinita from Delhi are first friends. The duo always had an appetite for building something to call their own. Vinita—a National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi alumni—recalls, “After graduating from college [Shikha is a former fashion graduate from Pearl Academy, Delhi] we worked together for a year at an organisation.
We were good friends there and would always talk about starting our own label together. We wanted to build something bigger than us.” Finally, in 2010, she was like, ‘let’s give it a shot’.”, and started Ilk in 2011. Derived from the word ‘ilk’, which means ‘clan’, the idea behind the brand name, as Vinita elaborates, is “we wanted to build a community of people who liked similar stuff. We design for every woman who resonates with our sensibilities.”
In love with nature
‘Cloud Stories’ and ‘Cloud Stories-After Hours’, though similar, is distinct in a number of ways—while the former is a summary line with dresses, tunics, co-ords, all in a softer colour story of pastels, the latter has more dark tones and a festive vibe replete with sarees, saree dresses, denim jackets, and more.
Both share the obi belt, which adds a contemporary touch to co-ords. Vinita shares, “‘Cloud Stories’ is about the day sky and the ‘Cloud Stories-After Hours’ is derived from the night sky. The concept came from clouds and is more ethereal. Both Shikha and I are nature-centric. But the aspect of it [clouds] that we liked is how there’s no shape to it, which is why we used smocking [an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch]. We manipulated the fabric and created a similar texture.
While the summer collection has muted colours, pastels, with the festive season, we went into the night sky like bougainvilleas and teal blue and dark brown.” Talking about the silhouettes and fabrics, Vinita shares, “The silhouettes are more or less the same. We changed the fabric from silk-chanderis and cottons to silk and silk-crepe; we are still using the chanderi but there’s a difference in the look.” Ask her what’s next, and Vinita concludes, “We’re going to start working on our summer collection; and we’ve gone online and are working on our website.”