Finding solace in the chaos

Finding solace in the chaos

Her knowledge of textiles goes back to her childhood days when she used to sit with weavers and learn their art. Born and brought up in a family of agriculturalists, designer Rina Singh draws inspiration from her travels across rural India and abroad. She came up with her label ‘Eka’ in 2010 and today, she is known for her styles, cuts and illustrations.

Rina will be seen unveiling her new collection at the upcoming ‘Lakme Fashion Week’(LFW). In a chat with Surupasree Sarmmah, the designer throws light on her love for natural fabrics and her likeness for sustainable life.

How did you get into the fashion industry?
Designing is something that came to me naturally. When I was younger, I would always sew things like cushion covers, mend things and make shoes at home. One thing led to the other and gradually I started sewing clothes, without realising that I had a special knack for it. Though my family is not from this field, I was always surrounded by women who would involve themselves with stitching and weaving. Whether or not a fashion designer, I am sure I would have done something to do with clothes.

The first design you created...
I would say I am still not done perfecting it. It is called ‘Uno’, which means one in Spanish. It is an ‘uno pintuck dress’ on an indigo khadi fabric. It is a simple dress but when somebody wears it, it drapes perfectly and transforms the body. And I am still making variations of it.

If not a designer...
I would have been a story teller. I have had some really interesting experiences while growing up and there is so much to talk about. I am still charmed by the memories that my parents had shared about their childhood  but today, kids are losing out on our history. I am always up for the idea of storytelling; for all you know I might retire as an author.

Apart from designing, what are your other interests?
I love reading books and listening to music is also something I enjoy. I am also  interested in a sustainable way of life; sustainable way of eating, growing food and sustainable way of living.

The best part of being a designer...
The fact that one is always so creatively inclined and one is always in a dream-like world — forever focussed on creating something new and different every day — which is a relief from the harsh realities that life throws at us.  

What inspires your designs?
I always go back to different textiles. The ‘Eka’ woman doesn’t change with seasons, it is the same person. She is liberated and not very trend-driven. I get inspired by a new place I go to but make sure to retain the charm of an Indian woman in my designs. Above all, I am always vintage in my thoughts so I always look for old storybooks, old characters and movies which come alive in my creations.

What is your style of work?
It is not a good thing to say (laughs), but I am kind of chaotic. There is not a single day that my table is clean. When I start my day, I will have 50 different things on my table, but by the end of the day, I am able to manoeuvre my way through that chaos. I believe, my style of work is finding solace in the chaos and striking a balance.

Tell us about your latest collection.
The collection has a vintage feel to it, something that is inspired by an English faded wallpaper print on gingham checks. I have made them look faded and worn-out but have also given a pop of colours. I love working with natural fabrics and thus khadi, cotton silk and linen are the primary fabrics that I have used, with colours like yellow, melon, pink.   

What are your expectations from Lakme Fashion Week?
This is my first time at this fashion week. It is an amazing platform and I hope the right people notice my work.

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