Though Dickensian in popular culture, larks are passerine birds found in Australia. However, should you consider this a nondescript description of a perfectly lively next-door neighbour, brought to life by Pushpak Vimaan’s Padosan collection, hold on.
We liken this colourful, vivacious, dramatic full-frilled neighbour to a group of larks. They’re known as many things but our favourite collective nouns for them are ‘a chattering’, ‘an exaltation’, ‘happiness’ and ‘a springful of larks’.
Padosan is Pushpak Vimaan’s foray into colourful, vivid storytelling. 100% cotton, mul-mul frills, flamboyant flares and cuts. What larks!
adjective / lamb(ə)nt/ of light or fire, glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance
Is that you?
The intricate hand embroidery on this youthful, zesty collection lights it’s own spark. The gorgeous flares, the impressive back details and the colour palette brighten up a room.
The unbeknownst life of her lambent light proved happiness over and over again.
Us. Most days.
You must spirit a kittenish quality to carry on the weight of everyday with an uncommon light-heartedness. At the risk of over-defining, the Straight Up dress by Pushpak Vimaan looms large on our mind.
Flirt if you must, with your rogue-like impishness but do it in the thigh-high slit pencil skirt in a sprightly yellow. Ensure sufficient breeze for the turn on the frill.
nee Flower Child/Wild Child/Free Spirit
‘A shape in a drape’ was beatnik speak for a well-dressed person. So was ‘everything plus’. She wasn’t just a shape in a drape, she was everything plus. And in Pushpak Vimaan’s Jump in Pink, wouldn’t anyone be?
adjective /ɪˈbʌljənt,ɪˈbʊljənt/ cheerful and full of energy
The Padosan Collection was designed for the world to rediscover itself with a child-like sense of wonder. The world needs more magic. The collection is a creation of airy confections, East meets West, traditional and contemporary, fantasy and reality.
A descriptive, energetic story slows down fashion, warms up hearts and begins relationships.
Vegetable dye, androgynous style and the union of khadi-linen
Inspiration for design often settles into the quietest of corners. On a sultry day, unusual for Winter, a desire took shape. They felt the need to make more than a statement.
The result was deconstruction, purpose and form.
In an evolving series of telling stories of each product, we introduce you to the mood, concept and character of designs by Chambray & Co.
1. Khadi-Linen for Winter’s Summer
Chambray & Co allow their styles to breathe in the delicate cross-weave of khadi-linen. Handspun khadi is given life with the sheen and structure of flax-plant linen.
The ethereal result is a season-defying fabric that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Designers at Chambray & Co. articulate the need for fabric that empowers the woman wearing it.
Weavers in West Bengal are fanned with the deepest understanding of the wearer in the hope that the fabric’s journey begins a quiet, meaningful relationship.
2. Androgynous Dressing
Androgyny is an art form. Chambray & Co. translate it to fit their design ethic. In true modern realism, they believe in the need for comfort, style and power to play synonymously.
Overlapping layers, statement sleeves, deep pocket details compliment a comfortable outer silhouette. They dress the woman keeping the needs of a man in mind. The two have never lived separate lives and this deep understanding forms the structure of every ensemble designed.
3. The Beauty of Vegetable Dyes
Vegetable dyes are made from roots, berries, bark, leaves and wood. The brilliant permanence of colour sourced naturally, from plants, was previously a by-product of a simple life.
It has evolved today to a conscious effort at remaining as close to pure as we can. Chambray & Co. use vegetable dyes to achieve neutral tones of khaki, maroon and navy-blue, emphasizing the objectivity of the wearer. The hand-dyeing is done by artisans in Gujarat, prior to meeting the cut of a story, carefully told.
Often considered the ‘Frida Kahlo’ of India, Amrita Sher-Gil gives us the neurotic satiation that we need, to remind ourselves of the brilliance of our minds. Born to Sikh and Hungarian-Jewish parents, Amrita is considered the most important woman painter in Indian history. She grew up in Budapest and Shimla, performing piano concerts and acting in plays. She then sailed with her mother to Florence and Paris, subjecting herself to the authority of European artists. Her time in Europe left her with an intense desire to return to India. ‘India belongs only to me’, she said. It was here, that her critical works of art rose to fame. Her lustful relationships with both men and women became the subject of her paintings, now hanging at National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi. Her obsession with the tradition of Indian art, the culture of women and the rhythms of village lives became the standard for many artists to follow. She died aged 28.
American feminist artist, Judy Chicago forces us all to lead thinking lives. She coined the term ‘feminist art’ in the 1970s to define her work exploring the role of women in culture and history. She began the first Feminist Arts Program in Fresno State College and strongly believed that women who were ignorant of women’s history would continue to struggle. Her work including the famous ‘The Dinner Party‘ & ‘The Birth Project‘ commemorate women activists, martyrs, goddesses and women as mothers. Her emphasis on women and their many roles heralded the ‘Feminist Art Movement’ in the 70s.
No one has more sensitively told the stories of drug-addicts, dancers, lovers and activists. Her elements trilogy films threatened to unearth the farcical progress of social reform in India. In Water, she examines Gandhi’s India and the struggle of a child-widow unwittingly made to endure the rules of the Holy Hindu Scriptures. Despite death threats and burnt sets, Mehta produced and delivered the film to critical acclaim. Though one might argue that her singular, romanticized view of post-Colonial India does little to salvage it of its years of disarray, her storytelling subject has never been comforting en-masse.
“You’ve got to invest in the world, you’ve got to read, you’ve got to go to art galleries, you’ve got to find out the names of plants. You’ve got to start to love the world and know about the whole genius of the human race. We’re amazing people.”
Credited with pioneering the punk-style movement, Westwood is the hard-hitting, bright-haired anti-system woman we all need to be at times. “I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the wheel in some way.”
Rei never studied fashion. And still, she is the most influential fashion designer in Japan and the world. She entered the fashion industry by taking a job at a textile company. Within a few short years, she established Commes Des Garçons, her label. By the time she debuted in Paris, she had begun the Japanese Fashion Revolution. Her anti-fashion style, dark colours, and arresting personality would begin the movement of intellectual style that would have the world in her thralls.
Dayanita Singh began her career as a photographer at a Zakir Hussain concert. He noticed her being roughly handled by his security personnel and asked for her to be allowed to do as she pleases. By following and photographing him on tour for six years, she created her first photo album ‘Zakir Hussain’. Influenced by Italo Calvino and Gustav Mahler, she advises to think and feel outside of photography. Then we will have something to bring to our pictures.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga):
To think of Lady Gaga’s experimentation with style, music, form and personality as simply incidental to the function of her industry, is an enormous discredit. Lady Gaga has given us songs on sex, religion, politics, sexuality and individualism. Movements have sought her words to charge the bass with the beat of our hearts. She is the Monster Mother of the fashion, music, and movement industry. And we are her little monsters.
‘I don’t claim that it’s easy. I do not have the answers. I am by nature not a political person and these are the darkest political times I have ever known. My business, such as it is, concerns the intimate lives of people. The people who ask me about the “failure of multiculturalism” mean to suggest that not only has a political ideology failed but that human beings themselves have changed and are now fundamentally incapable of living peacefully together despite their many differences.’
The accidental champion of multicultural homogeneity forces upon us, thoughts, nostalgic roots and ideas of change.
“I paint flowers so they will not die”
Frida was the tempestuous artist that rose to recognition for her beauty, her art, her questions, her affairs and her disregard for society. Her naiveté and intense fascination dominated her ‘surrealism’ art that she was perhaps entirely unaware of. Her eccentricity and posthumous recognition reflect on her aberrant portrayal of self, tragedy, and actualization.
Emma Watson has joined the bandwagon, recently. With her instagram handle @the_press_tour dedicated to eco-friendly, non-animal, non-leather clothing and accessories, the movement is gaining steam. Emma Roberts recycled Giorgio Armani’s 2005 vintage couture dress from the archives. Reason: Red Carpet Green Dress Challenge. Sustainable, upcycled, productive, positive fashion. Though a complete overhaul of fashion’s green-o-meter is still a’comin’, these are the top 4 changes we’re happy to call out:
More not many: Fashion across the street is changing the way it models it’s offering. New styles are making way for renewed styles. In February, H&M’s new arrivals were down by 36%, as replenished stock continue to increase. Same styles, repeated per demand, reducing the pressure on supply channels, and ultimately the environment – fashion is the second most polluting industry, after only oil.
Sustainable lines: As customers demand transparency, stories and emotional equations with their clothing, fast-fashion houses have begun to realign themselves to the changing times. Zara’s Join Life and H&M’s Conscious Collection offer carefully sourced, ‘more ethical’ products to customers who have traveled, seen it all and deserve change. Though they arrive late to the game, independent companies (such as us) are happy to share the stage with the fashion giants, together for the right movement.
Independent designers: ‘Seasonless merchandising‘ has allowed for independent designers to crop up around the world. In lieu of the saturation of fast-fashion deflationary pricing (and therefore ‘safe’ styles), bold young designers are designing risque ensembles for an increasingly educated consumer group. The advent of online platforms has allowed for independent designers to showcase their talent directly to an excited, global audience.
Stories: As we search for, communicate with, form relationships with and source designers who weave tireless stories, we are indebted to their journey. The stories of each designer, the inspiration behind the design, the idea for the fabric and the influence of ideas form each intricate product that is carefully curated. Increasingly, as customers seek association with their outfits, designers are allowed a voice. Stories and content form the basis of the selling relationship that retailers develop with their customers. At least we do, with every single sale.
I find it incredibly necessary to go beyond the person. I need to know why they’re here and what they make of this earth. I need to ask them what they mean. And I need them to know that I want to know every little thing, dark and light, simple and complex, forgotten and cherished, insignificant and celebrated. What are we all if not a careful genesis of each other.
Speaking to Priyanka Chugh of Ek taara, I get closer to all that she stands for.
What made you Ek taara?
Since I can remember I was always swayed towards everything that represented creativity. Very early in life I knew my dream but understood its depth only very recently in life. That is why the name had to represent the journey. The name, Ek taara just came to me in just 10 minutes into brainstorming. I felt it perfectly elaborated the beautiful feeling of oneness, with a hint of nostalgia while also having a harmonious ring to it. Ek taara- is a simple wish to promote the spirit of oneness. A name to represent our country as One, as A shining star, as Ek taara.
Where would you be if you had decided to follow the norm?
I have been not following the norm since forever so I guess If I had to be forced to follow the norm – I might have gotten married very early in life.
What fabric does Ek taara depend on?
Hand printed & Hand made. All things Indian born !Traditions enveloping modernity in a cotton and silk blend.
What’s the most underrated Indian tradition?
Nose rings! I absolutely love different style of Nose rings n Nose pins and most importantly the attitude one sports with it. I wear it all the time.
The one beautiful thing in the world today
Growing spiritual awareness among youth
There are too many designers…
Mixing East and west styling.
Crraazyyyy- if something is going well- I say wow this is crrrazyyy and if something is not right- I still say this is crrazyyy. ugh!
Uncontrollable laughter over a cup of coffee.
If not Jaipur, then?
An island where the happy souls just work & meditate and work and laugh. In loop.
Beach or mountains?
Both the landscapes for my variety of moods. I absolutely love the beach for celebrations and love the mountains for getting strength & courage.
Think or do?
Hmmm… Hmmmmm… Just do it 🙂
What’s the wildest (aspirational) dream you’ve ever had?
To be able to find a hint of Ek taara in everyone, everywhere. A brand to be a part of people’s lives.
What is your constant?
“If nothing changed then there’d be no butterflies.” -Walt Disney
We would like to tell you why Ikkivi was born. You won’t be too far off if you find more than one reason in our carefully dictated crossword below.
Unlike most primates, us humans prefer to remain clothed at all times — more or less. Now take that notion and subject it to normalcy, habit, need and engineered routine. You get the dull picture, don’t you?
There are countries well endowed with tradition and culture and they each look towards their mothership — India — for inspiration. Now, can you imagine how dull our lives would be if we didn’t occasionally lapse into a moment of…culture? No bhandhini, no khadhi, no batik, no silk. We’re not here to say we’ve wound the clock back, receded to our roots and defied all forms of progress. No. Not really. We’re trying to say that progress no longer means one or the other. I don’t have to be entirely Western or Indian to belong to both parts of the world. I simply pick silhouettes that the world recognises and cut them from fabric that is as nostalgic as it is traditional. I choose to belong, unequivocally, to all parts of the world at once.
We started to wonder where we could turn to clothe ourselves in a manner that reflected our growing want of freedom. The wave of fast fashion had swept us in, pleasantly so, of course. We were happy to be able to dress ‘normally’ like the rest of the world. Interestingly, the global appeal of ethnic fashion had also swept the world in, or so it seemed. They wanted to be like us.
So what becomes of the rest of us? The ones not so easily sold on deals, western consumerism and penchant Indianness. The ones too acutely aware of burgeoning Indian talent and a new generation of thought. We rest our hope and ambition on a couple of free-thinkers pioneering the slow, real fashion movement. Gutsy. Truth be told though, if not now then when?
We promoted Ikkivi for 11 days and a Sunday prior to unfastening our support-systems and taking the leap. If you’ve got this far, the password to enter www.ikkivi.com is hereatlast
Each of us has stories within us. We may write, walk, wander and wonder in search of it. As we rest and repose in the background of city lights, my purpose becomes clear. I am not a person or a sentiment — in defying and defining myself, the movement of a new existence has dawned on me. Together, let’s live wholly, in character, away from reality and with entitlement purchased entirely in kind.