For designer Sreejith Jeevan, it is a proud moment. He will be showcasing his designs at the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week — Winter Festive. The platform is not alien to him. He has been on the stage earlier with his collections — ‘Strung Together’, ‘Weather Forecast’ and ‘Write to Me’. Among these, the ‘Write to Me’ collection was inspired by the post office. Everything about the post office — stamps, postcards, envelopes, inland letters — found a place in his designs.
Sreejith, who is known for his unique themes and style, has chosen ‘lotus pond’ as the theme for his fourth attempt. He has a reason for that. “There is a zen-like quality to a lotus pond that has inspired the collection,” he says. “The way the murkiest of waters bring out beautiful flowers is metaphoric of the many tedious processes that the fabric goes through, eventually blossoming into a garment. ‘Into the Lotus Pond’ abstracts elements of the flower and water through simple geometry, realised through handcrafted Shibori, Batik and other natural dyeing ways,” adds Sreejith, who runs his studio Rouka at Ravipuram in Kochi.
For ‘Into the Lotus Pond’ collection, Rouka has joined hands with Aranya Naturals, who are well-established patrons of the art of resist dyeing. Aranya employs and works with differently-abled artisans, who are experts in Shibori. According to Sreejith, the collection aims at creating narratives with the work of those artists through Rouka’s clothes that are contemporary, modern and wearable.
The hues also have been taken from the pond, seen through the eyes of a natural dyer. The indigo shade of water and the madder red of lotus draw various designs on the ivory white canvas. “The clothes we have made are a reflection of the ROUKA sensibility — contemporary, easy going and with a story to tell. Silk dresses, organza overlayers, draped jackets and kimono cuts come together in a collection that effortlessly marries an Indian sensibility to a Japanese one. The idea, as always, is that one must be relaxed in the clothes we make,” says Sreejith, whose designs will be displayed at the Lakme Fashion Week on 17 August at 12.10 pm.