Chennai-based Label Ritika’s festive line Gul-è-Afra takes its design cues from the Mughal era
Intricately embellished ensembles and traditional silhouettes have always been designer Ritika Kankani’s forte. And her latest Autumn/Winter line that doubles up as her eponymous label’s Diwali collection ticks all these boxes. However, that’s not the only idea that has influenced the Chennai-based designer’s latest line. “The inspiration behind Gul-é-Afra was to combine something old with something new. During research, I stumbled up on floral motifs from the Mughal era, a pattern I had not worked with before,” explains Ritika, adding that the line was unveiled at the Bibi store at Kensington in London earlier this month.
With a solid colour palette including earthy marsalas, deep purples, inky blues and emerald greens, the rich surface ornamentation comes from zardosi and aari embroidery on handloom Maheshwari and Benarasi silks and kalamkari cotton. Look out for kalidar lehangas, umbrella skirts, angarkhas and anarkalis, featuring flowering trellises and Arabesque jaalis.
In addition to this festive showcase, the INIFD graduate tells us that a lighter prêt line is also available in her city store. “While there’s always a demand for heavily embroidery pieces, we received enquires for garments that are lighter, but still can be worn as occasion ensembles.” To this end, this line focuses on breezy fabrics like mul and Chanderi and replaces the zardosi with French knots on a range of crop tops, cowl neck tunics, dhotis and jackets.
Rs 10,000 onwards.