Art and popular culture has been a constant muse for designers. Now, designer Rajesh Pratap Singh has collaborated with Myntra.com, the online shopping portal to retail a T-shirt collection celebrating the works of iconic illustrator, cartoonist and artist Mario de Miranda. Miranda’s work has been synonymous with humorous observations of people in his hometown Goa. Recognised the world over for his signature characters, Miranda’s illustrations were a reflection of Indian society, especially in the ’60s and ’70s. “My generation grew up with Mario’s cartoons and I have always been an admirer of his works,” says the well-known Indian designer.
Inspired is a word that doesn’t appeal to Singh, who prefers to use the term “visual references” instead. To put together a collection that would be a good representation of Miranda’s work meant culling out images from a vast collection of illustrations and that for Singh was by no means an easy task. “The illustrations are complete in themselves and there’s not much one had to change,” says the designer, who wanted to maintain the integrity of the original design. A T-shirt was for the prefect canvas.
The designer has added minor details by using block print and subtle embroideries to give a 3D effect. Also in some of the designs — there are 22 T-shirt designs on offer for men on the website — Singh chose not to replicate the entire illustration but picked out characters from different illustrations and brought them together on one design. Miranda’s wit is hard to miss as seen in a mango-coloured T-shirt that has a mirror image of a visibly drunk man raising a toast while the back of the T-shirt features a policeman looking on.
While Singh says his generation can relate to it, there would be many others who will appreciate it for its humour and distinct iconography. A self sketch of Miranda, in his younger days, also finds place in the collection which also goes beyond black-and-white colours bringing in hues of mint and mango. On why he chose to retail online, Singh says, “I see a lot of future in online, especially for a product like this. I shop online, so do many of my customers. Online really helps with accessibility,” he says. The collection is priced Rs 1,350 onwards.