“In India there’s a fearless approach to pattern and colour, and I wanted to bring that to the UK"
Former fashion and textiles curator, Laura Gray has collaborated with young fashion blogger, Ritu Arya, to create a stunning Summer Look Book for Spring/Summer 2016.
The fashion creatives bring together key trends of South Indian fashion and cater them to a UK market.
In an exclusive Gupshup with DESIblitz, Laura, who is the founder of fashion house, Motherland, tells us more about her beautifully detailed collection.
Aimed at women who are bored of high street shopping, the Motherland customer is not afraid of wearing colour, and is looking for something that combines craft and character.
Motherland aims to redefine the idea of ‘made in India’, by focusing on high-quality design produced in safe working conditions.
Laura splits her time travelling between her home in Yorkshire, to Bangalore, India, where she creates her fashion pieces.
She tell us: “I love travelling to India and doing business there. It’s a young, entrepreneurial population and there is energy and will to make projects happen.”
Laura stresses the importance of colours in her pieces:
“There is a lot of blue and orange in the collections that I’ve chosen for summer. Emerging from the season of long dark nights, I love see beautiful pastel colours,” she tells us.
“In India there’s a fearless approach to pattern and colour, and I wanted to bring that to the UK.
“We’re lucky that the British high street is very strong fashion-wise, but sometimes the result is too much uniformity.”
Referring to her theme of high necklines and the period inspiration behind it, Laura tells us:
“Before I started Motherland, I was working as a curator with a historic dress collection, where I was researching and looking at Victorian dresses all day long.
“I certainly value the fabrics and detailing of historic clothing, and perhaps it’s no coincidence that it’s contemporary pieces that share those values that really appeal to me.”
The contemporary Eastern feel of Laura’s collection is perfectly epitomised by her co-collaborator Ritu Arya.
Ritu, who took full creative control of the project, is a graduate of the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology.
She started her blog Razzle Dazzle Pickle in 2012, which was selected by Vogue India as one of the six best style blogs in the country.
Ritu’s carefully crafted style stories and distinctive art direction made her the perfect collaborator for Motherland’s summer look book.
Laura explains: “I handed complete creative control of Motherland’s summer look book to Ritu Arya.
“Ritu is a very successful fashion blogger and a graduate from India’s prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology.
“I was sure she’d create strong images.
“I knew Ritu’s style from reading her blog, so I was very confident handing creative direction to her. When I saw the images I wrote the text for the look book.”
The inspiration for the Summer Look Book came from combining Ritu’s trademark laid back style with a nod to tradition, whilst liberating the Indian goddess Parvati from her traditional representation as the divine wife of Shiva.
Through this storytelling fashion book, they manage to transport Parvati to contemporary India, whilst invoking the glamour of the Indian goddess.
Some of the key fashion statements within the summer look book are:
- Ruffles and High Necklines ~ as seen on the blue and pink silk Jupiter Moon Dress
- Graphic Stripes ~ as seen on the hand-spun hand-woven silk scarf
- Fringing and Orange ~ as seen on the hand-spun hand-woven silk t shirt
- Rainbow Palettes ~ as seen on the blue and pink silk Jupiter Moon Dress, and the Uzbek scarf and the hand-woven silk scarf and t-shirt
The pieces in the collection are often supported by a use of accessories. We asked Laura about the importance of accessorising in fashion:
“Accessories make an outfit feel complete so I knew that I wanted jewellery to be an important part of the looks that Ritu was crafting.”
Laura also told DESIblitz of how the Summer Look Book reflects the brand’s value:
“The Summer Look Book reflects our commitment to working with established and emerging Indian designers.
“There are jewellery pieces by Manish Arora, and a beautiful clamp dyed skirt and top set by newcomers Ka Sha who were a Vogue India Fashion Fund finalist in 2015.”
It is evident that both Laura and Ritu in their collection hope to evoke a fresh interpretation of East meets West fashion, which perfectly emulates the modern British Asian woman.
Their fusion breaks away from organised Western styling by taking simple cuts and adding vibrant splashes of colour.
As well as online, the Summer Look Book is available in print on request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All pieces are available to view on the official Motherland website.