Designer Rina Singh of eka presented her Autumn-Winter 2020 collection in collaboration with the Telengana State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Ltd. (TSCO) today.
Stirred by the modern spirit of ‘Jo March’ from Louisa May Alcott’s 19th century classic, ‘The Little Women’, eka’s Autumn-Winter 2020 collection explores different paths to female self-actualisation with a deeply romantic aesthetic. “I am excited and honoured to partner with TSCO to showcase the development of Telangana textiles at Lakme Fashion Week. It is a special region, the fabrics are one-of-a kind and so dexterous in terms of the levels of skill involved. There is a lot of scope to undertake craft-based projects in the area and bring these textiles to the global stage,” Rina explained.
With her extensive understanding of India and the modern world, Rina has worked with patterns, colour combinations and yarn blends that lend a commercially viable and contemporary look to the traditional product. Block print textiles, wool & wool-silk plaids and stripes, along with velvets and hand painted embroideries have been presented in the brand’s signature; loosely-shaped diaphanous dresses, pleated skirts, boxy jackets, oversized pea coats and tiered layers.
The designer has developed unconventional patterns with double and single ikat clusters of Kovalguddam, new blends with thigh-reeled tussar silk textile clusters from Mahadevpur and cotton textile weaves from Narayanpet. Another special addition is that of pure merino wool ikat, developed in the Pochampally handloom park to accessorise the collection. By focusing on methodology and skill upgradation of weavers, these remodelled versions of traditional fabric are created with lighter yarns and denser count construction.
Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary of the Industries & Commerce department of the Telangana government added, “Our main motto with this collaboration is to enable skill development at the grass root level that would in turn create employment opportunities for the artisans. While the artisans are masters of their craft, the design intervention brought about by Rina Singh of Eka showcases the textiles of Telangana in a new light.”
The AW20 collection celebrates the art of unconventional dressing as a powerful expression of modern femininity. Inspired by Jo March’s transformation from a young tomboy to a woman of poise, the collection merges eka’s signature silhouettes with a new sense of exquisite detailing. The designer indulges an orchestral mix of silhouettes, textures and colours ranging from delicate lace, velvet layers and wool plaid and organza applique. A vision in deep teal, professional tennis player Sania Mirza walked the ramp in a single ikat jacket dress, with hand painted and hand embroidered floral motifs, paired with dramatic velvet trousers.
Garments are further enhanced with hand-painted renderings inspired by Austin artist, Starla Halfmann’s work. Unique botanicals and paisleys are interspersed with ikat patterns, adding a touch of opulence to the season. Metallic hand-knitted zardozi trims have been upcycled as delicate flowers and detailed inserts like collars, cuffs, plackets and embellished belts.