Shades Of India : India’s heritage and its influence on design and trends
Shades of India is a story of a 20 year old collaboration between contemporary designers, and traditional artisans exploring color, texture and contrast. As one of India’s leading creators of Home Fashion, it has developed a distinctive international style which celebrates both India’s heritage and its growing influence worldwide on design and trends in fashion. Shades of India now has the comfort of being an internationally recognised leader in creative textiles. The world is more receptive to beautiful Indian fabrics, imaginative hand-worked techniques and fine detailing. These are trends they helped pioneer.
Their vision was to be a creative, design led company combining contemporary design with the inspiring workmanship of traditional craft.
The uniqueness of their style lies in-
When they started, it was an uphill struggle. Indian textiles had the reputation in Europe and the US of being shoddy and cheap. At Maison et Objet, the major international Interiors show in Paris, Indian companies were tacitly excluded. Everybody advised them not to use the name Shades of India if they wanted to sell in Europe or the US.
But they were defiant. They designed a small collection of home textiles. They worked with crafts groups in Tamil Nadu, Assam and on chikan embroidery in Lucknow and Rampur. They took a small booth at Maison et Objet with the help of a French designer.
Their first big breakthrough was with organdie – a sheer fabric that had almost disappeared from Europe and which in any case was most associated with apparel.
They used hand embroidered organdie for table linen, curtains and decorative mosquito nets. They gave the embroidery a contemporary look. They added colours. They played on the transparency. It was a huge success.
India Became A New Frontier
They turned to the Indian market where a quiet revolution had taken place. The Indian economy was taking off and Indians had come to recognise the beauty of their own textiles. They took a small space in the Meharchand market which was just beginning to be recognised as a successor to the Khan Market. It immediately gave them an identity they could call their own. They used rough, textured concrete for the walls to contrast with the richness of colours and fabric of the textiles. They created installations in fabric that helped make it an iconic stopping point.
Design comes first. They value creativity. They constantly experiment and explore new frontiers of design, fabric, techniques and craft. In their recent most MN collection they turned to the age old tradition of batik and combined it with layering and fine detailing. They want to be in the forefront of contemporary, creative textiles out of India. Also, they are committed to continually experimenting and reinventing.
Source : Shades Of India