Imagine dropping a blot of ink into water. As the ink spreads out into the water, it creates a visually splendid image. That's exactly what Ashwin Thiyagarajan's new collection 'A gloomy affair' resembles. Layers of gorgeous ruched chiffon gowns transform into light and ethereal silhouettes in soft colour palettes. "It's what I imagined fairies would wear if they existed in 2017," says Ashwin cheekily.
After having worked with Infosys for more than two years, Ashwin pursued fashion out of sheer interest and passion. His label 'Ashwin Thiyagarajan' and his first collection were released in 2014, inspired by the midnight sky. "I guess I have a fascination for the sky. It involved deep colours and crystal embellishments that shimmered like the stars in a gorgeous night sky," says the 25-year-old designer.
Ashwin's new line emerged from his fascination towards gloomy weather which Chennai has been experiencing recently. Textures and colours were drawn from this inspiration and the collection is going to be a mix of gowns, short dresses, pantsuits and skirts. His signature style is usually classic elegance with a raw modern finish. "While most designers like to conceal the fraying edges by doing an inverted stitch or overlock, I like to leave them as it is. I think it adds to the beauty of an outfit." Ashwin also constantly advocates for the 'less is more' status and says that no matter how revealing his designs are he will try and keep its elegance quotient intact. "In my new collection, most of the gowns and dresses are not going to have a lining, like in the pictures. They are going to be sheer and see-through. Making it see-through and still keeping it elegant is not an easy task, but I think it will work out just fine."
Ashwin has chosen chiffon as his fabric for this line, given its comfort factor. "It's easy on the skin and when manipulated right, it gives a beautiful texture. It translates your design wonderfully from thought to reality. Moreover, it gives the garment an ethereal touch that no other fabric can." Although Chennai's high humidity levels and stickiness is a concern, Ashwin assures the material is lightweight and is a feasible fabric.
Ashwin's designing process starts with first being inspired by something which triggers a new line or a collection. "I identify a common technique or two that will run among all pieces in the collection to make them relevant," says Ashwin. A few common techniques that he's used in this collection are ruching with heat application, short ruffles with fraying edges and digital printing. "I decide the colour palette and then the designs come to life." Ashwin hopes to get his own fashion show together and has a collection in progress. "I can't wait for all of it to come together," says Ashwin with a smile. Ashwin functions out of his workshop in MRC Nagar where he specialises in bespoke wear and even ships them across Tamil Nadu and overseas.