The sixth edition of ELLE Graduates saw nine up-and-coming talents bring their A-game to the stage. Actor Kubbra Sait champions their creations for this very special shoot.
On Khanna: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Diksha Khanna, a textile and design graduate from the University of Leeds, finds inspiration in blending contrasting elements together to form a cohesive whole—handloom linens are paired with rugged denims and relaxed drapes support structured tailoring. Khanna’s USP is her frequent use of drawstring detailing, which allows the wearer to personalise each of her creations by pulling them into different silhouettes and forms. Her handwoven chanderi robe with gold accents and the patchwork denim pants with crochet and coins are our favourites.
On Sait: Silk dress, Diksha Khanna.
On Shantam: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Gandhinagar graduate Pallavi Shantam, Buna focuses on creating classic, comfortable pieces with subtle hints of hippie culture. Shantam’s designs emphasise the artisan-led techniques of weaving and knitting to generate handloom cottons, summer silks and dainty crochet trims. Her flowy skirts and dresses in khadi silk and soft chanderi with delicate prints have an underlying romance about them. And even better, Shantam keeps a strict zero-waste policy.
On Sait: Khadi cotton and silk top, dress and headscarf; all Buna.
On Dandiya: All clothing, designer’s own.
Central Saint Martins graduate Kichu Dandiya’s first love is jewellery making. Combining prominent periods in art—from the French Renaissance to Art Deco and the Golden Age of India—her works are an ode to the rich history of body ornaments worn globally, as seen in her latest lineup, Kingdom. The Thandatti earrings in gold-plated brass are her take on the traditional gold earpieces worn by older Tamilian women. Thankfully, Dandiya’s Contemporary uptake features an easy push lock, instead of the hollow geometric fasteners originally worn by nobles.
On Sait: 18K gold-plated brass necklaces, earrings and rings (worn as hair accessory); all Kichu.
On Sharma: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Winner, Accessory- Domus Academy graduate Aditi Sharma’s penchant for concrete is unmissable. Inspired by the popular German design approach of Bauhaus, the interior designer-turned-accessory maker moulds the sturdy architectural material into chunky, geometric solids in smooth spheres and sizeable cuboids. These designs are then fashioned into statement baubles with the help of wooden beads and slim threads of zari and suede. Greytone’s striking line-up of neckpieces are perfect for minimalists at heart.
On Sait: Concrete, zari and thread necklace and necklace (worn as head accessory); both Greytone.
On Agarwal: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Winner, Ready-To-Wear- An avid lover and creator of art, NID graduate Yadvi Agarwal combines her artistry with indigenous craftsmanship to come up with a method that emulates 20th-century Impressionism. Using overlapping thread embroidery to construct new reliefs and layering block prints to add depth, Yavi’s signature style ensures that every piece is one of- a-kind. What’s more, some of Yavi’s prints even originate from Agarwal’s own paintings.
On Sait: Wool shirt, silk skirt, velvet and silk cape; all Yavi.
On Oza: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Her easy-to-wear clothing is proof of Ahmedabad-based, NIFT New Delhi graduate Shreya Oza’s fondness for simplicity and nonchalance. Her already-nuanced design signature is evident in ASA’s luxe loungewear, made in handmade cotton, silk dorukha, eri silk, and paper fabric. The latter is her latest innovation in her consistent effort to champion slow fashion and sustainable manufacturing practices.
On Sait: Organic cotton and naturally dyed yarn top, pants and top (worn as headscarf); all ASA. Leather shoes, stylist’s own.
On Ali: All clothing designer’s own. Leather shoes, stylist’s own.
Winner, Sustainable- Sustainability is at the heart of designer Naushad Ali’s creative strategy. With a deep affinity for Indian art and crafts such as jamdani and ikat, the Puducherry-based NIFT Chennai graduate says he likes to revisit his earlier works to adapt rather than add—scraps from his previous productions are turned into originals. Fibre scraps, for example, are hand-woven and dipped in natural and chemical dyes to give them new life. His pullovers, jackets and saris, all made using waste; further uphold his commitment to upcycling.
On Sait: Organic cotton and natural indigo-dyed yarn dress, jacket; both Naushad Ali.
On Ramesh: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Bhavya Ramesh’s distinct bohemian persona echoes in the aesthetics of her eponymous 10-month-old jewellery brand. Characterised by bold structures in sterling silver and quirky embellishments borrowed from the Banjara tribe of Rajasthan, Ramesh’s gypsy chokers, badass sunglasses and floral earrings should be on your wish list for the year.
On Sait: Cotton dress, The Sufi Studio. Sterling silver necklace, earrings, septum ring and head accessory; all Bhavya Ramesh.
TWO POINT TWO
On Sharma: All clothing and accessories, designer’s own.
Founder and creative director Anvita Sharma swaps gender-specific diktats to create inclusive, a-gender garments. Details, colours and silhouettes that are typically considered ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ are fused to bring forth a new-age label whose clothes don’t discriminate. We adore the anti-fit feature of her garments that primarily draw from the bagginess and drape of the authority defying Zoot suits of the 1940s.
On Sait: Cotton jacket and neck accessory; both Two Point Two. Pearl earrings, Sait’s own.
PHOTOGRAPHS NEHA CHANDRAKANT STYLING RAHUL VIJAY; HAIR AND MAKEUP: MANIASHA/FAZE MANAGEMENT (KUBBRA SAIT); HAIR AND MAKEUP: JEAN-CLAUDE BIGUINE (DESIGNERS); MODEL: KUBBRA SAIT; ASSISTED BY: PUJARINI GHOSH, SUHANI LOTLIKAR (STYLING), SNEHA KUMARI (HAIR AND MAKEUP FOR KUBBRA SAIT).