Known for creating a new fashion vocabulary for the millennials, designer Aneeth Arora has this time drawn from marine life. Set to open Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week this Wednesday, her spring-summer collection has a distinctly tropical look and feel. “It is a very relaxed look; more like holiday clothing. However, there is also an element of shimmer in it because we are inspired by water bodies and when water reflects light, it shimmers,” says Aneeth. To be showcased at Aqua, the poolside lounge bar in New Delhi’s The Park hotel, the collection was long overdue as Aneeth is passionate about marine life and loves to travel to coastal cities. “Also, Pisces happens to be my zodiac sign,” shares Aneeth.
“We will be transforming the poolside at Aqua to make it look like an island. This has been done as we could not find a beach in Delhi!” she grins.
Known for using big floral motifs, this time Aneeth has given a new look to her trademark flowers. “If you see the vastness of the sea, then everything pales in comparison. So floral motifs would not be grand like in the past. The little flowers that look like Kimono prints are inspired by floating flora and fauna in the water bodies. They have been printed on a blue base. As a result, they look as if they are floating on the surface.”
A sketch by Aneeth Arora
Going beneath the surface, Aneeth says there is no literal interpretation of fish instead she has made little trinkets that would be hanging on garments but has not used them as motifs or prints as it limits the wearer. “A lot of people dislike animals or any other species on their clothes. So we have focussed on marine invertebrates like little corals.”
Shades of blue
The colours have also been borrowed from the marine landscape. “The blue hues from the ocean, beige from the sands of the shore, ivory from the shells, coral and mustard from underwater life will make the collection stand out.”
For the first time, she says she has used sequins to create floral motifs. The designer has also introduced frills and ruffles to give a unique layering. “Crocheted edgings and beaded fringes have been developed with the skilled Afghan refugees at Bhogal. I started working with them after I came across an Afghan woman, wearing an exquisitely beautiful dupatta with nice crochet. Different materials are utilised for their textures including hand-crafted ceramic buttons.”
Models at a photo shoot for the latest collection
Her love for hand-crafted textiles and Banarasi brocades will find a reflection in this collection as well. “For two years, we have been working with artisans from Banaras. We have used hand-crafted textiles from the city and mixed it with fabrics from other parts of the country. As Banarasi brocade is a labour intensive technique, a lot of time was spent on developing them. It is a traditional technique but I have used it to create a European effect on outfits like frocks and a variant of Mughal angarkha,” says Aneeth who efforts have been acknowledged ed by the FDCI for taking forward the organic movement.
“We don’t use synthetic fibre. It makes our clothes sustainable and environment-friendly.” She is also using Pero’s philosophy of recreating discarded garments. “We will showcase upcycled trench coats which will be paired with the denim jacket, shirts, tops. Our love for up-cycling led to a new collaboration with Havaianas ( Brazilian brand of flip-flop sandals), a summer staple and Birkenstocks (German brand of sandals), a popular classic. Each pair is re-imagined, with a collage of hand-crafted flowers and fish, with ribbons and sequin embroideries. They have been sewn on to the flip-flops capturing the laid-back tropical Caribbean mood.”
She has also collaborated with Carlo Urgese, a paper sculptor from Milano, who, Aneeth says, created marine life inspired, intricately hand-cut, paper fish and coral reef headgears.