Designer Shruti Singla incorporates zardozi and aari embroideries in her contemporary line
Every year,a large number of students aspiring fashion designers graduate from numerous fashion design institutes spread across India. Most of them are absorbed into design houses and a few branch out on their own.
For Panchkula-based Shruti Singla,an alumna of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT),Rae Bareli,launching Shruti S,her own signature label has been a well thought-out process. I wanted the freedom to explore my own ideas and creativity, says Singla,who graduated last year.
Her studio,housed in Sector 8,Panchkula,has also been pepped up with much thought. While one side is dedicated to Indian wear,with bridal wear options as well,the other half of the studio showcases Singlas creativity with Western wear,including apparel for men. Whats striking,specially in the contemporary line,is the use of traditional embroideries like aari and zardozi. For instance,one of her garments is a fully embroidered kaftan with delicate sequin embellishments. As a part of our curriculum,I worked with a crafts cluster. I spent two months in Lucknows Mohalla Hazratganj area that houses karigars who specialise in aari and zardozi work, explains Singla,who has made sure all her designs highlight the same. These are traditional arts and my aim is to contemporise them so that my generation doesnt lose out on their charm. Most of the karigars are also facing challenges as skilled workers as machine embroideries have taken over, opines the designer who has hired karigars from Lucknow to work exclusively on her collections.
Agreeing that its tough to survive in Punjab without emphasising on bridal wear,Singlas Spring-Summer collection plays with pastels combined with subtle detailing like aari embroidery and graded shading,especially in lehengas. Particularly eye-catching is a turquoise lehenga that boasts of a three-tiered border teamed up with a blouse in rust brown,which has structured cap sleeves,almost like an armour,and a cutaway hem. I find that most people dont experiment with their sleeves,but theres a lot one can do. I like working on the sleeves and avoid designing the usual, says Singla.
Her corporate wear line also highlights her penchant for turning around regular elements like collars and cuffs. For me,its not about styling a person but their personality. Each one is different and thats a challenge I like as a designer, sums up Singla.