Rina Singh of Eka on bringing 2020’s upcyling trend to menswear
Making a case for a trans-seasonal wardrobe for males at a time when moral design is essential
You could possibly say that 2020 is when ‘upcycling’ joined the luxurious vocabulary. Final month, when Miu Miu introduced a capsule assortment of clothes constituted of refashioned classic clothes, they had been becoming a member of a rising listing of worldwide luxurious manufacturers that had been both making sense of extra stock or sharing plans to be much less wasteful.
For creatives, I believe this yr was a blessing; a time to introspect and re-align. The previous few months of revision additionally caused a change in how we, at Eka, plan our collections and design cycles. I spent quite a lot of quiet, reflective time at house in Gurgaon within the months of March and April, a interval once we normally do most of our gross sales. I realised that owing to the shortage of assets as a result of pandemic, we could not be capable to develop as many textiles as we had up to now. It made me flip to our stock gathered through the years from our community of weavers in Phulia, Murshidabad, Bhagalpur and elsewhere. We recycled quite a lot of these textiles imaginatively. We used overdyes, prints and patchwork, and we created menswear.
The go well with different
With Eka Core, I needed to make a proposal for males who didn’t wish to be confined to fits. Would they, as an alternative, contemplate straightforward shapes to work, lounge, journey or vacation in? Up to now, I’ve picked up quite a lot of stuff for my husband, Sandeep, from boutiques in Paris and New York and small labels in Tokyo that provide sensible collections for males. I used to be impressed by the workmanship and the simple cuts of those items. Sandeep’s individualistic style has resulted in a wardrobe replete with clear, practical items, together with trial-and-error coordinates from our pattern room. I used to be impressed by his worn-to-shreds Comme des Garçon clothes and the intelligent ending inside-out. Then there’s Rajesh Pratap, who has at all times led by instance together with his cuts, finishes, materials and by being delicate to aware design. I come from a household of agriculturalists. It’s usually stated that design is advanced or an acquired aesthetic. I really feel it’s one thing that should match your philosophy of life. For me, this is able to be craft, group dwelling, a easy life.
Consolation is paramount to my collections. Breathable textiles are tough to stitch near the physique, thus giving room across the form and creating silhouettes which might be saggy, beneficiant, slouchy. Having a robust maintain over indigenous textiles and utilizing them to create snug shapes whereas working with womenswear since 2011 has additionally been channelised right here. Core is an concept that I had seeded final yr and it was anyhow because of be launched this yr. The pandemic gave it a nudge as each day necessities grew to become a necessity.
Not a capsule assortment
I don’t count on males to purchase as ladies; as an illustration, in the event that they like the autumn of a pair of trousers, they might purchase these in three colors whereas ladies have a tendency to select a spread. On the similar time, I really feel menswear is a stronger, extra loyal market as seasonal collections don’t want an enormous variation. The textiles utilized in Eka menswear received’t require a lot floor and design developments. The concept is so as to add parts that make it work for the section of males who’re advanced of their style sensibility. This isn’t a capsule assortment however will probably be ongoing. In pure textiles like wool, linen and cotton, all recycled and repurposed from Eka collections, they’ve a timelessness and performance.
Proper now, our real-time entry to the world via social media and commerce platforms has made the world a smaller place. Garments are however one medium that reveal how the strains are blurring for design identities — transcending nation of origin and native design sensibility. They advantage via the native craft panorama and expression of private identification. We are able to both reside in our silos or create a fluid language with intelligent identification to cross over and merge.
Rina Singh is the founder and designer of Eka and Eka Core. Her début menswear line launches on ogaan.com on December 5.