Salt Studio’s Summer Festive collection pairs Rajput grandeur with contemporary silhouettes
When on the lookout for a common train of thought among Indian couturiers, one cannot dismiss the importance assigned to Rajasthan and its traditional crafts. While Anita Dongre and Anushree Reddy have declared Jaipur as one of their primary inspirations, closer home, we have designers like Shalini James whose True Blue collection highlighted the indigo dyes from the city.Most are smitten by the hand-worked embroideries and palatial homes in Udaipur which make a good background for a photoshoot—as seen in Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s SS17 collection—but city-based designer Diya John’s line focusses solely on Rajasthan’s architecture. Having brought out a summery collection with handcrafted leather belts earlier this year, Salt Studio, her two-year-old label has announced a festive line titled Rajaputra.“Crafted in silks alone, this ensemble has burnished gold embellishments (mostly zardosi) as one of its key highlights,” begins the designer, elaborating that she’s trying to create a regal look with understated elegance.
Dyed specifically for Salt from places including Delhi and Mumbai, colours in this week-old line vary between salmon pink and teal blue to vibrant rani pink. “We have tried to add contemporary silhouettes by using box pleated lehengas (which also comes in kanjeevaram variants) and wrap around blouses,” shares Diya, whose previous experiments featured frilly boho sleeves on sari blouses. Don’t go expecting the traditional motifs though, this time the 20-something is determined to keep it abstract with Rajasthani architecture inspired shapes.“When it comes to this theme, there are so many clichéd, repetitive elements. I wanted to do away with those,” she explains, adding that casting a dusky model in the collection as opposed to ‘fair lady mandate’ is one such decision. Styled by Kochi-based Elizabeth Vivin, Diya’s shoot features theatre artist/model Kani Kusruti. And for those on the prowl for Kani’s look—which went viral online with over 27K views on Facebook—Diya recommends styling the pieces with single statement jewels from Amrapali. As for the future plans, though she hints at an Oriental ensemble with floral prints, the designer’s current priority is to launch her upcoming website.
Tunics from `12,000 onwards