Friday, April 23, 2010

East India Company

East India Company was Kristel-Ann and My baby .. Our graduating collection for Shalom 2010
Not a lot of brain storming went into the selection of this we had very similar ideas and looks already decided in our heads ! *saved a lott of time,energy!* We wanted to incorporate strong Indian influences and combine it with modern patterns and cuts. We luckily also knew that we wanted to have separates..and we ended up having 19 of them in our collection !! A lot of thought went into naming our baby ..and after a million odd names.. we concluded our search by naming it "EAST INDIA COMPANY"

For you to read: Our Concept Note

Oh bury me at Cassino
My duty to England is done
And when you get back to Blighty
And you are drinking your whisky and rum 
Remember the old Indian soldier 
When the war he fought has been won!
Juhi Khanna and Kristel-Ann Marie LaPorte
East India Company
Out of an Era, when chests and cabinets were made by hand from the real wood of a single tree,  when every household produced their own cloth and all necessities were grown in your own backyard. We take you back to a period in Indian History which transformed our education system, economy, politics, architecture and lifestyle of the people.
Right from the 16th and 17th centuries western relations with Mughal India began through trade. The trade ties between the rich and powerful emperors of India and the Europeans lead to the rise of colonialism. In AD 1600, the East India Company was founded. By the eighteenth century the British began gaining control over India and set up manufacturing firms that began to exert influence on India's thriving textile industry.
Cloth, clothing and identity were deeply intertwined in colonial India. Historically there was tailored repertoire for the nobility (tunics, gowns, jackets, waistcoats and trousers) and unstitched clothing for the masses (shawls, turbans and saris) .Eventually the Indian colonial subjects sought to fit in with their British rulers by adopting European clothing. Traditional garb gave way to the modern pant suit and jacket for men in urban pockets of the subcontinent.
“East India Company” is a collection that draws its inspiration from this amalgamation of two cultures. It expresses how cloth became one of the most potent symbols of the struggle for Indian national independence.

Collection Analysis
In accordance with our theme which propagates handloom and the invasion of the British monarchy on the Indian soil, we have chosen to make use of fabrics that existed in that era. Khadi, Handloom cottons, Linens, Tussar silks, Matka silks, Benarasi Brocades, jute blended with fabrics that were bought to us by the British such as Satins, Jacquards on georgette, cotton twill weaves and suiting textiles.
Garments in our collection illustrate tints and tones of almond, nude and old rose moving to khaki, beige, fawn and chocolate browns teamed with military greens. Ruby reds combined beautifully with bold blues conclude our collection.  Floral and paisleys are the motifs used in the collection as they were the most commonly used motifs of the era and are still timeless. Dori work, antique lace and jute cording embellish our garments. Buttons engraved with heraldry and emblems that replicate the colonial insignia complete our collection.
The accessories are created using medals, English roses, lotuses, filigree work s in brass and stripped ribbon. Antique metal bangles and earrings, pocket watches, walking sticks and jholas are the other accessories that emphasize the colonial inspiration in our garments.
Right from the weaves to the metal embellishments we have tried to depict “Handicraft” as an essential part of this culture fusion by promoting the use of handloom and handspun textiles.

Its very very important while designing your collection that more than anyone else, you need to understand your collection the most which shows on the concept note that needs to be spread and also while selling your garments! 

I say it with pride that almost everything that could be sewn by us .. was infact sewn by us ..! yes i know thats hard to digest .. but yes we did it !! *yay* i know every stitch .. every tack .. and every detail that went in our collection .. im not trying to be preachy here ..but thats the only true way that you learn and enjoy this process.

This is our entire Collection Line-up. We were asked to design 6 female garments and 2 male garments.

We worked into every detail that went into the collection and also created this label for East India Company!

Kristel and Me both are Accessory junkies and our love for quirky pieces made us create our accessories on our own too! Brass roses, filigree pieces, stripped velvet, cheap medals, custom metal cut into stars,crowns, shields, vintage flower pendants and 4 tubes of FeviBond resulted into this !

Pic 1: Dedicated to my Tea crazy partner :P

P.S. The last two pictures were taken around 5:00am in my house.. *when we had just ended with all the titbits we had to do in all our garments* It was a moment we stole when we both were just staring at our babies and looking back at every stitch that went into creating them .. :)

The final day !

! Our Moment !

To end i want to say .. that i do love my collection a lot.. but at the end of this journey .. i did sort of got completely fried with looking at the garments again and again ! there was no suspense left that intrigued me anymore! Then it dawned on me why designers keep churning out new collections every season .. its becoz they are bored .. and also they have the greens ! ;)


Kristel-Ann said...

You covered it better than anyone couldve...
Tea-Crazy HUH?... *)That i am
That was valentines day hahahahaha

Juhi said...

thank u :)
oh Yes !! that was valentines !!!
love u Kristel ;)