After debuting with a collection of designer masks for women, men, and children, this brand showed its first ready-to-wear nature-inspired line digitally at the just-concluded Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week SS’21 presented by the Fashion Design Council of India – a glamorous take on the current loungewear trend for women inspired by WFH (Work From Home). We speak to Gayatri Khanna, Creative Director, Gaya, about the importance of ‘smart loungewear’ in today’s world and using denim in a completely different way.
Is it keeping the pandemic in mind and all the Work From Home that is happening that you decided your first RTW range, The New Earth, to be a smart loungewear collection?
Yes, loungewear definitely is in trend right now but what we wanted to do was add an element of design and a dash of glamour to the comfortable and practical loungewear which is perfect for Work From Home, or a work-cation, or a leisurely evening with friends and family.
Please could you explain the term?
It’s the same as casuals and smart casuals. While our loungewear does have all the elements of typical loungewear like comfort, soft luxurious fabrics, practical silhouettes, and being easy to wear, it has the added touch of striking prints, vibrant colours, innovative embellishments, making it stylish and glamorous. The versatile designs lend themselves effortlessly to transition from loungewear for the day to evening smart-lounge.
How did this idea for come to you – and what are the loungey clothes you like to wear at home?
The idea definitely came while I was working from home. I definitely wanted something that is easy to wear and comfortable but yet while I was on a professional video meeting or even a video call to catch up with my friends , I wanted to look presentable and stylish and not drab and dull. I saw there is a gap in the market for the kind of loungewear that can be versatile , which can be worn at home or outside, has some eye-catching design elements , which has the perfect mix of comfort, practicality, glamour and a style that is contemporary.
Which are some of the fabrics you showcased in your digi-film?
We have used soft and luxurious knits, satins, cottons, and silks.
The prints are tropical and lush – what is your inspiration in terms of place or country for The New Earth?
When humans of the world were under the lockdown, we saw the air purifying, flowers blooming, animals and birds coming out of hiding, reminding us of the beauty of nature in living harmoniously and mindfully. I myself was at my holiday home in Alibaug, where I saw nature blooming in this new light. We wanted to present this new and beautiful earth to everyone as a reminder that we must preserve it for the well-being of all its habitants. Our refreshing Palm Leaf collection through its striking prints, vibrant colours, and beautiful embroideries represents this sentiment through and through.
Can you tell us about the loungey denims – are these made in-house?
Yes our denim line is also made in-house in our vertically integrated factory where all our production processes take place under one roof, which helps us control the quality of the products. We have taken the classic denim and transformed it into a stylized mix of über-cool, modern silhouettes, fun and novelty embellishment, and eye-catching patchwork with a comfortable lounge vibe.
How have you worked on them and embellished them, since embroidery is your forte?
We have been in the business of embroidery since 20 years, designing and manufacturing embroidered and embellished garments and accessories for luxury brands around the world. Denims will always be evergreen and a part of our every wardrobe in some way or the other. We just thought of revamping the classic denim styles and presenting them in a new way, with more contemporary silhouettes and our signature embroideries. Every piece in the denim collection has a different design and embroidery – from intricate patchwork with metal mesh, a splatter of rich crystals and pearls, frayed appliqué and embroidery work, or even 3D floral appliqués.
The monochrome lounge suit – is this something that can be our WFH uniform now? Monochromes lounge suits will never go out of style. Ours in luxurious fabrics and with a dash of sparkle in the form of embellished patches are perfect for WFH in terms of their design, comfort, and fit. These can be dressed down or dressed up effortlessly.
What are three key pieces one should be looking at in your collection – the ones you like to wear?
When I am a part of the design process, the first question I ask myself is if this is something I would wear or my friends or family would wear. Only those designs are taken ahead. Wearability of the collection is vital to me. In terms of silhouettes and designs, we have a wide range from kaftans, to shift dresses, bomber and track sets, pyjama sets, comfortable yet stylish T-shirts, sweatshirts , robes, camisoles, and skirts. We have the perfect mix of striking prints, rich embellishments and contemporary silhouettes. There is something for everyone in this collection and it is difficult for me to pick any three. But I would love to wear the Sago Track set for its striking prints and super fit, the Monstera dresses for their easy-breezy silhouette and the fact that I can dress them down or dress them up as per the occasion, the Linden set as it is the perfect mix of comfort and style, and then Mouiller jacket and Pant set from the denim group for its light fabric, stunning embellishment and the edgy silhouettes.
Yours is a sustainable company – how do you continue to remain so in these times?
We are a vertically integrated factory, duly audited by Intertek, where all the production processes take place under the same roof so that we can control our quality and make the optimal use of our resources. In these times, more than ever, we need to be mindful of the way we use our resources and remain sustainable and ethical in our manufacturing process. We take care of and value all our employees. We give the same benefits to the karigars as we call them, as we do to our other employees. They are working in hygienic and comfortable working premises; they clock in eight hours a day, are given salaries and EPF benefits, they attend training and seminars, and are respected for their talent and their job as opposed to working in shoddy sweatshops.