Her Spring-Summer 2014 collection The Wanderer,which unveiled at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week on October 11,was sporty,sophisticated and undoubtedly sexy adjectives that one has come to associate with the label Namrata Joshipura over the 17 years of its existence. The travel-inspired collection showcased chic jumpsuits,skirts,shorts and jackets in Joshipuras trademark textured embroideries and sleek silhouettes.
And now,quick on its heels,the Delhi designer,known primarily for her contemporary western wear,has launched her very first Indian collection with a line of artfully crinkled kurtas,embellished kalidars and ombré saris. And even as we try to wrap our heads around this sportswear-to-sari transition,Joshipura tells us it was a long time coming. Spearheading an essentially prêt label that believes in launching new designs every two months is no mean feat. My philosophy is to churn out new designs every two-three months to keep buyers coming back for more. So,apart from seasonal collections,we also do bridge collections and showcase around 40 new styles each time. Consequently,even though I wanted to work on an Indian wear collection it wasnt coming together. This year we finally decided to go all out, she says.
What also helped kick-start the creative process was buyer feedback. Our tunics were already doing very well. Many clients would come in and ask if we could add a churidar and dupatta to the look. And since we were already catering to such special requests,we thought why not. Requests were also coming in from stores that we retail at. So,in July we finally started experimenting with ideas and shapes, says Joshipura.
While every designer worth his/her tulle,net,chiffon and Swarovski is busy making neon-piped anarkalis and gilt-bordered saris,Joshipura hopes to stand apart just on the basis of her design aesthetics. This is essentially Indian festive wear,so it doesnt have the leaner silhouette that we are generally associated with. We do have the kalidars with 20-metre fabric, she says unapologetically. What she has attempted to do though is to keep her brand sensibility alive in the treatment,embroidery and embellishment. So where Joshipuras western wear line generally shows a fondness for geometric and floral adornments,the traditional collection sees enlarged flowers used as placement embroidery on kurtas and Aztec-inspired geometric embellishments on yokes. Fern patterns,roses and hydra flowers make an impression in embroidered sequins,bugle beads and intricate thread-work,another Joshipura trademark. Silhouettes remain simple,fuss-free and easy,qualities that underline most of her creations. Her limited edition line of saris is in free-flowing georgettes,and Joshipura cleverly teams an embroidered top from her Autumn-Winter 2013 collection Wings of Desire as a blouse with a plain sequin-edged sari. I personally love traditional woven saris,but that doesnt come naturally to me as a designer,so I decided to take forward what we were already working with, she says. The colours are varied from Joshipuras favourite black to bright melons,deep emeralds,cheery oranges and fiery reds. In keeping with the Indian festive spirit,its a bright and happy collection, she says.
And while Joshipura prefers to call her affair with Indian wear a work-in-progress,theres no denying that its a line of thought shes pursuing with great clarity. Currently,the collection is available for sale at her DLF Emporio,Crescent (New Delhi) and D7 (Mumbai) stores and it also retails online through http://www.perniaspopupshop.com.
Already,a tiny validation of her labour of love has come in the form of Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra,who recently picked an emerald Joshipura anarkali to wear from a choice of over 25 other designer outfits. Priyanka is extremely stylish and it was encouraging to see her pick one of our outfits, says Joshipura.
In the pipeline are more editions of this traditional line and a lot of tweaking and tuning is already underway. Im still experimenting. Its like a new relationship,a new love; its got me very excited, she says. Looks like the Wanderer has found her way back home.