Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Swati Argade
Paper Lily had an article about Swati Argade featured recently on Coutorture. It mentioned that Swati is a South Indian dancer-turned-designer which really intrigued me, because until laziness took me over, I was also undergoing training in classical South Indian dance (bharathanatyam) - and even after I quit the dance classes, I continued with semi-classical performances at school. I actually plan to find a bharathanatyam teacher in Chicago and resume training if possible. Anyway, the point is that I went to check out her website and the designs just won me over absolutely.

These really aren't typical collegey styles, but even college girls need some pretty party clothes, right? I also have no idea how much of a dent these pieces would create in your bank account, but I promise to try my best to check them out physically in New York or Chicago and report back (hopefully with a couple of Swati Argade pieces to call my own!) In the meantime, I'm thrilled just looking at the pictures.

Her collections have beautiful names. S/S05 was called belle khadi - khadi's a type of cotton/silk/wool/mix fabric handspun and hand-woven in Indian villages. It's associated with India's independence struggle because Mahatma Gandhi's clothes were all khadi, and the spinning of khadi was an important source of self-employment in rural India. It also spread the message of not using foreign clothes. This heritage is so precious that the Indian flag is allowed to be made only from this material.

Her S/S 06 collection is called Bengali Girl - Bengal's a part of India with a rich cultural and literary history, and on the fashion front there are some really great up-and-coming designers emerging from Bengal. This collection's full of bright, happy colours.

Fall 06 - Novella, which means a short novel. According to her website this collection "explores Indian historical and Western literary traditions, combining structured tailoring and men’s suiting fabrics with the softness of velvet, corduroy, and naturally dyed cottons."

This seems to be Swati's signature shape, and she has a variation every season. The one on the left is from her Fall06 collection, while the one on the right is from the 2004 collection. It's a really nice streamlined, simple shape. And the strips of fabric do all sorts of incredibly flattering things for your body. I like that although the designer is ethnically Indian, she isn't doing blatantly Indo-Western styling because almost every Indian designer out there is doing Indo-Western alongside their traditional Indian designs. It's very subtle, like the strips of orange zari in the piece on the right, which gives it a special flair.

This is part of her Bengali Girl collection, but it appears to be made of the same khadi fabric which dominated the belle khadi collection. I think it's beautiful that a fabric with this much history behind it, and which is traditionally associated with rusticity and poverty and a hard struggle for independence is being transformed into such modern, empowered, optimistic silhouettes.
This somehow captures the essence of Bengali Girl for me. The shape of the dress - long, with a high collar - is strangely literary, like an educated Edwardian lady. And then there's the flourish of the tie waist, and the orange colour which is just really vibrant and so very Indian because Indians really love their bright colours :)

This, finally, is a college-fashion-worthy piece. Not that these pieces would need to be anything-worthy for me to feature them here; I'd love them regardless. I am in love with her use of colours and the meticulous construction. I only fear that clothes that are so detailed and to which so much thought has evidently been given will be absolutely out of my reach financially.

Nisha mentioned in her last post that a beautiful trench coat is a must in every wardrobe, and this is the most beautifully cut, most pristinely white trench I've ever laid eyes on. Especially worn casually like this with a pair of summery sandals, it's So Sexy.

This is my favourite piece of all. The cut and colour are very streamlined and sophisticated, but the thread-sewn pictures of buildings are so young and whimsical - who can resist? Every college girl ought to have one crazy, whimsical, beautiful coat in her wardrobe.

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from Blogger yougogirl:
the styles look very classy.