Patchwork is considered to be one of the oldest techniques in the fashion industry that focuses on recycling unwanted leftovers or repairing a tear with an edgy piece of fabric by using creative stitches. The art of wear, tear and repair is back in the limelight with a new twist, as patchwork is now being spotted on the streets outside fashion shows from Paris to New York. Many creative brands are now plastering slogans, motifs and traditional artwork on summer dresses, jumpsuits, pants and more to make a statement.
Patchwork gives a warm, cozy and comforting look; it is trending big-time among celebrities and street trendsetters for SS-2019, informs designer Shilpi Gupta of a fashion brand. She says, “Designer brands like Junya Watanabe, Missoni, Zadig et Voltaire, Jeremy Scott, Isabel Marant and many more have used it in their collection this year. Most of the designers are using it in tone form by maintaining harmony all over. They are also using it with accessories or colour block garments for a fresh approach. The uniqueness of this trend is the use of denim for patchwork, blending it with stripes and paisley or other intricate patterns.”
By putting together some contrast pieces of fabric to achieve an eclectic and eye-catching design, many designers have teamed up patchwork with simple garments and accessories for a completely new look. Designer Joy Mitra, who loves to use patchwork in his collections, mentions that patchwork essentially encourages sustainability by reusing old fabrics, hence it is the flavour of the season globally. He says, “In Bengal, layered saris are created using Kantha art, which is an old patchwork technique done using running stitch – for me that never went out of fashion. In the present context, designers are using these arty techniques to appeal to new age fashionistas who love to recycle and reuse old clothes in new styles.”
In terms of Indian wear, the contemporary take on ancient patchwork goes very well with the theme of colour blocking and sustainability. Mandeep Nagi, creative director of retail brand mentions using the traditional technique of hand applique in animated floral and animal motifs to add an extra dimension to the garments in her latest collection. She says, “Patchwork was earlier taken to be very indigenous and traditional. It is a timeless technique that has been elevated to an elegant fashion trend now and in true words is ‘sustainable’. One could endlessly explore this technique with colour blocking that gives it a very bold and playful mood, while a patchwork of different prints gives it a very vintage character.”
From funky tees to denim jackets and strappy summer dresses – one can see interesting pop shades appearing in the form of uneven or geometrical patches that are perfect conversation starters. Designer Yadvi Agarwal, founder of fashion brand, tells you how to style a patchwork outfit without putting in a lot of effort. “If the patchwork is a jacket in striking contrast colours it should be combined with solids and heavy statement accessory for a bold look. Or you can combine a printed dress with a patchwork over layer for a boho look. The more subtle patchwork in subtlety tones on linen dresses which are delicately studded with Kantha stitches around the patch is a look for every day, which can be combined with delicate jewellery accents like earrings and hand rings with a simple leather sandal,” sums up Yadvi Agarwal....