For many of us fortunate enough to buy new clothes in anticipation of the first day of school, fall has an indelible connection to shopping. It is when the light dresses, tanks and shorts of summer give way to more muted options. When an understated riot of colors – dun, tan, russet, amber, fuschia find their way onto those textured, classically fashioned outfits, inventive in tailoring, and resulting in those arresting silhouettes that mark the best of fall.
In addition, shopping for clothes is far more welcome, when those humid 90° days are behind you. That is also when layers of clothes deliver nuance, and when removable pieces – cardigans, jackets, scarves, hats, etc – provide a fetching final touch to any outfit.
This year, your ardor for shopping may be dampened by the fear of coronvavirus, but that is no reason to abstain completely. Many designers are still putting out amazing collections, and their work will inform the outfits that find their way into mainstream clothing outlets.
Here are some of our favorite South Asian designers, complete with the types of couture they are coming up this fall.
Run by mother-and-son duo Surya and Bindu Giri, SGBG Atelier is inspired by Indian techniques to deliver clothing that also relies on the crisp lines and clean cuts of modern, contemporary tailoring. Right now, their clothes are dabbling with oversize silhouettes, cut from vibrant, color-blocked prints. Their dhoti pants, jumpsuits, and hoodies use unique materials such as kora silk and silk crepe, hand-embroidered and pin-tucked to ensure singular elegance.
Mani Jassal is the eponymous eveningwear and bridal brand of the Indian Canadian luxury designer of the same name. Jassal’s designs may look traditional at first glance, but when closer scrutiny will reveal some unique cuts and contemporary flourishes that take each piece from eveningwear to art. One hint of Jassal’s talent lies in the borders on her dupattas and saris. Although they primarily rely on traditional gold embroidery, the designs are deceptively simple and wonderfully baroque, with patterns revealing themselves only close up.
For the minimalist who cannot do without a billowy jumpsuit or dress, P.E.L.L.A. is an excellent choice. This up-and-coming fashion brand is the brainchild of Priyanka Ella Lorean Lama (Pella), a young designer who plays with natural fabric to create gorgeously unexpected silhouettes. Many of her pieces intentionally incorporate imperfections, to remind us that norms are meant to be broken. Pella’s designs use natural materials as much as possible, and many of her outfits are made from a single sheet of fabric that is never cut, but has delicate hand-rolled hems to ensure a “boundary-less design.”
Rahemur Rahman is a British-Bangladeshi menswear designer who specializes in ethical and sustainable fashion. While he uses many silhouettes and shapes from traditional Indian and Pakistani menswear, the looks generated are unique, thanks to his use of bold color blocking and modern patterns.
His latest collection, “For people who dream in colour,” was inspired by old photos of his family in their apartment in London when they first migrated from Bangladesh. Rahman’s debut collection was presented at London Fashion Week in 2019, and celebrated traditional menswear with his trademark touch of bright colors and historic Bangladeshi methods.
Another one of our favorite eponymous labels producing vibrant Indian-inspired designs is Saloni. Designer Saloni Lodha creates pieces inspired by ‘70s and ‘80s tailoring techniques and silhouettes, but with an original modern twist. She has a few different dress silhouettes available for purchase now. These are a variety of silk prints that were inspired by summer holidays with family in Rajasthan. Her gorgeously bold prints also showcase playful, feminine flowers. Her autumn collection brims with tailored blouses, velvet blazer dresses, and long silk satin dresses in jewel tones such as citrine, navy, and ruby red.