Fluid Dynamics: Chennai designer Purushu Arie launches first gender neutral line
A few years ago, then a student of NIFT Delhi, Purushu Arie found himself with a wardrobe of women’s clothing from his design projects at college. “The first garments that you are taught to design as a student are women’s apparel, which left me with entire collections of womenswear that I had no use for. Soon, I began cutting and styling clothes for my assignments in a way that I could later wear them.”
Starting out by creating a series of harem pants, trousers and jackets that were designed to fit both men and women, the now 26-year-old designer’s aesthetics evolved by incorporating ethnic elements into his designs, leading to the creation of his first gender-neutral collection, Beyond Binary.
The capsule collection from his eponymous label offers a range of silhouettes — from flowy waistband lungis to boxy crop-tops featuring pinstripes and cold-shoulder shirts. “Checks or stripes are often dubbed as masculine patterns whereas a crop top is tagged as a feminine silhouette. I’ve unified such contrasting philosophies, thereby focusing on a bigger picture than the visual aesthetic.”
Employing Japanese cutting methods, the Chennai-based designer created five looks done in 3D, allowing him many more possibilities to be creative. “It starts with making a basic pattern and cutting the fabric on a 2D surface, which takes on a new shape when further design lines are added onto the dress form. The method allows me to re-cut and structure my fabric in 3D form,” he shares. This explains how the lungis come with waistbands and can be tied in two ways, giving them different drapes.
Tucks and pleats
Attempting to use the sari blouse and pleats as its central inspiration, Beyond Binary’s crop tops with
ruffle detailing or cold-shouldered shirt can be paired with high waisted pants, a sari, used to layer a structured A-line dress or can be worn with the collection’s lungi that features a traditional kara vesthi border on its front plackets and hem. The colour palette is dominated by natural tones of green, royal blue, off-white and red on hand-loomed cotton and khadi sourced from a weaving cluster in Tirupur.
On a slow burn
Besides releasing a capsule collection exclusively on his e-commerce site every month starting this November, Pushu asserts his commitment to reconstruction techniques and upcycling methods, to redesign unused stock from previous collections for his future projects. “Fast fashion has drastically harmed the essence of individuality by mass manufacturing trends. I want to stick to the slow fashion model, which is why my collections will not have more than five or six looks,” he affirms.
Rs 4,999 onwards. Details: purushu.com