Here's how this Kochi mom is wearing her son's designer wear and breaking the age barrier
Rajeev Peethambharan is not new to the design scene since he has worked in the film industry before. Batting for sustainable clothing, Rajeev’s first collection The Summer Blossom Collection, is airy, comfy and just about the perfect fit for Kerala’s sweltering heat. The NIFT, Mumbai graduate who has also designed for independent movies like Popcorn and Pokkirisimon in Malayalam, is in Chennai for the first time, with over 60 pieces on display. Thanks to the scorching summer, the designer couldn’t have picked a better time to make his debut. “Minimalism is my game,” says Rajeev. “The details lie not in the design, but in the pleats, buttons, shoulders, pockets and plackets. I don’t use any motifs or theme for my collection, and only focus on little things like these.”
The 30-year-old has assisted costume designer Eka Lakhani (of O Kadhal Kanmani fame) on a Santhosh Sivan movie named Inam, and in Hindi for Crazy Cukkad Family, a Prakash Jha production. He primarily draws inspiration from his travels across the country and it takes the most unassuming of things to get him engaged. “When I was a child, I trekked to this place in Kerala which resembled a barren stretch of leaves and trees,” he says adding, “It was summer, and the plants were dry. But when the sunlight came through, the tone completely changed. It was vibrant, and it came alive. My first mood board for this collection was designed keeping these earthy tones in mind.” Rajeev also travelled to Bhutan, where he was immediately taken in by Bhutanese blends, which was a mix of cotton and silk handloom. He sources most of his fabric from Kannur handlooms and a few from Kochi, while he has his own team of tailors who do the work for his designs.
Mum’s the word
The Summer Blossom Collection has an array of pieces from tops and shirt dresses, to palazzos, tunics, cold shoulder tops and mix-and-match pieces. “You can create your own style by mixing and matching our pieces,” says Rajeev. “Our palazzos will go great with one of our casual tops and jackets.” It’s not just shirt dresses and palazzos that Rajeev designs, but saris as well. For this, he roped in his mother to model for him given how enthusiastic she was to pose for the brand. “I used to take pics of my mother whenever she was sitting in a good light or location,” says a visibly excited Rajeev. “She really brought her fierce attitude to the pictures. The photos turned out to be dramatic and intense. And she was really happy!”
Available at Zingbi.
Between `3,000 and `12,000.