Kochi-based Brando launches a hand-dyed line inspired by vintage maps
The explorer aka traveller figure is an ever present muse for designers ranging from Ralph Lauren to Urvashi Kaur. While the US label’s Fall 2017 collection borrows from the Himalayan traveller, Urvasi’s interpretation of the same at Lakme Fashion Week SR17 sported a flowy desert caravan inspired look. Homegrown designer Swathy Lakshmi’s take on the subject, however, is fuelled by the old maps of Kochi drawn during the early 17th century.“As I live in a port city with a rich and colourful past, the idea of maps naturally came to me. This ensemble, titled Explorer, adopts heavily from everything that’s associated with the history of these sketches, be it the colours or motifs. One can even spot abstract depictions of some of the oldest landmarks in the region like St Francis Church amongst the motifs highlighted in my limited edition shirts,” shares the NIFT graduate. Set to be launched later this month, Swathy’s shirts are hand-dyed using the shibori technique. Presently in its second year of operations, Brando is the first exclusive menswear label from Kerala .
Map it out
This 20-something designer’s cotton shirts should definitely be on your list if you’re all for the recent #CottonIsCool movement by Ministry of Textiles. A staunch advocate of cotton and handloom materials, Swathy believes that sustainable fabrics are the way forward. Aside from material, another aspect of Explorer is it’s sea inspired mood palette featuring colours ranging from olive green, teal, coffee brown, white and beige. “Apart from the abstract square and cloud-like patterns created using the tie -and-dye technique, this ensemble also sports hand drawn paintings of barques, and compasses. The folds seen on the pieces depict the wear and tear as seen in old map scrolls,” shares the designer. Currently offering five limited-edition shirts, she is also planning to launch Explorer in handloom variants. “Detailing for this line is kept minimal with sparse use of panelling,” explains Swathy, whose previous collections include digital prints.