Unhindered beauty, simplicity and purity defines Kashmir and taking inspiration from the rich heritage, values, quality of patterns, fabrics and craftsmanship from the region, a premium fashion clothing brand launched its Kashmir collection marking the line as its entry into the Autumn Winter 2018.
The Kashmir collection celebrates traditional embroidery technique like aari kari, jamawar print, checks and stripes for a clean look as also 100 per cent cashmere wool touch.
The brand — Wills Lifestyle — took a few journalists to the Valley for the formal launch, at the same time exposing the visitors to the vibrancy of Kashmir.
The aari kari or crewel work is a specialty of Kashmiri artisans who create it in fine concentric rings of chain stitch using a log hooked needle to produce fine quality wear that encapsulates an intelligent sense of design and brings timelessness to the collection.
"I was in apparel business for 15 years and initially when you used to pick a product, you can see very clearly that this is from which brand. Today, while working with ITC, I went around various segments of different brands and I figured that if I just take off the label, nobody will be able to figure out the brand. Hence there needs to some kind of differentiation," Vikas Gupta, the CEO of ITC (Wills Lifestyle and John Players) told IANS while talking about the line amidst the picturesque landscape.
"Some of our past collections that had story-telling in it and was very India-rooted had an amazing response from people. This time we thought of doing a line and lets us to allow Kashmir to be known for it’s beauty, craft and quality. That’s why we came to witness this beauty," Gupta said.
According to him, the line not only reflects the warmth of the sun, shades of chinar leaves and lush green amongst several other colours, but also attempts to raise awareness about the concerns of ‘fast’ fashion.
"During some marketing research consumers were telling us that textile apparel industry is the second-most polluting industry because of the entire concept of disposable and ‘fast’ fashion," he said. This, he added, pushed everything back to the roots and an increase in things local.
"Responsible, sustainable and conscious production are already a part of Indian culture and the surge of the interest among aware consumers is ushering a new era where crafstmanship is sought even in our daily workwear," said Gupta.
With a range of shirts, blouses, dresses in a variety of sombre colours from white, black, navy to teal, lemon , violet and brick, the line had palette that was celebrating nature in its true way.
Also allowing the office-goers comfort, the line is made in natural fabrics like linen, cotton, silk and wool.
"The collection can simply be described as a line representing purity, quality and craftsmanship," said Gupta.>