Sustain’s new luxury prêt line takes a contemporary approach to indigenous weaves and techniques

A two-week pop-up promotion, on till June 23, will unveil new lines of apparels by the label Sustain at Good Earth, Banjara Hills. Sustain is the store’s in-house label known for its use of indigenous textiles and crafts. The new collections will be unveiled in four sub categories — Jia, Nargees, Rozana and Jahanarra.

Deepshika Khanna, chief designer and head of product development, explains the idea behind these categories: “We developed Sustain like a store that caters to different requirements of a customer — providing choice for casual wear, work wear and something dressier for formal evenings.”

Along with designer Akshay Deep Singh, the Sustain team worked on collections that present traditional weaves and crafts for an urban woman. Designers worked in tandem with weavers specialising in khadi and jamdani from West Bengal; craftsmen with expertise in mukaish, chikan embroidery and badla work in Lucknow and so on.

Revival of khadi has been a pet project, says Deepshika. Handspun khadi is sourced from villages of Ponduru and Kalna in addition to ample use of malkha from Hyderabad. As the dialogue on handloom and khadi became mainstream in recent years, a number of fashion labels are vying to present their collections in traditional weaves, ensuring a continuous stream of work to weavers. “Khadi is versatile enough to create a range of garments that will befit an age group of 25 to 75. The Rozana line predominantly uses khadi and through this, we ensure livelihood for weavers who work with us,” says Deepshika.

Rozana line uses natural dyes such as indigo and mogra white, keeping with the summer palette. There’s also room for charcoal greys and madder since khadi can be worn through the year and the apparels can transition to cooler seasons.

Deepshika emphasises on tradition with a twist when she talks about the season’s collections that are festive and yet, minimally embellished. She admits that Good Earth and label Sustain have, until recently, focused more on cities like Delhi and Mumbai and are now stepping up the momentum in Hyderabad. Talking about the increased awareness towards handlooms and native crafts, she points out, “It’s an amazing feeling when women walk in and ask if we have apparels with block prints or Kalamkari from Machilipatnam.”

Deepshika and Akshay Deep Singh will be in Hyderabad on June 16 and 17 to interact with customers, in a move to have a focused dialogue on traditional crafts and textiles. This move also comes in the wake of Sustain looking to target a broader age group. “Our clothes were largely catering to women in the age of 45 and above. But with more working women in the 30-plus age group looking for exclusive labels, we felt the need to offer silhouettes that will cater to a younger audience as well,” she says.

Sustain’s new collections don’t come very cheap. They are priced ₹6000 and above. Deepshika reasons, “We are not a retail handloom brand. Our volume is limited and the pricing is such that it also benefits weavers and craftsmen. Our quality and finish are better and the apparels last longer, until you tire of them.”

What to expect:

Jia: Layered kurtas, angrakhas, farshis (flowy pajamas) and kalidar kurtas in Chanderi and cotton silk in shades of ivory white, greys and rose pinks, with mukaish and badla work.

Nargees: Ghagra-kurtis, chogas (anti-fit kurtis), harem pants, farshis, tunics with hibha pants (wide legged trousers) in jamdani, crepe silks, cotton, cotton silks, muslin and khadi.

Jahanarra: Festive evening wear in light silks, mashru and Chanderi with Mughal motifs, as an ode to Jahanarra, the daughter of Shah Jahan.

Rozana: Everyday casuals in khadi. The palette varies from mogra (white) to natural indigo, madder and charcoal, in classy silhouettes.

Apart from these, also look out for an exclusive line of block print apparels.


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