Eka's Spring-Summer '20 collection upholds the generational crafts of India


Eka collaborates with Telangana’s craft clusters for its Spring-Summer ’20 collection

Rina Singh's passion for Indian textiles and its ancient forms weaving and dyeing is at the heart of this collection

By Subhanjana Das  May 11th, 2020

India is known as the land of regional crafts, some of which are threatened with extinction in the face of mass-production. Preserving these age-old techniques means digging to its roots and working hand-in-hand with the craftspeople who inherit the skill. It is this motive that led Rina Singh, the creative director of Eka, a self-admitted textile connoisseur, to the craft communities of Telangana for her Spring-Summer ’20 line. After designing a capsule collection for the Telangana government to celebrate the National Handloom Day in 2019, Singh decided to showcase the state’s ingenious ikat handwork on a larger scale. The collection then panned out as a bigger project in collaboration with Telangana State Handloom Weavers’ Co-Operative Society.

The line features Eka’s signature relaxed silhouettes and textural collages in pleated skirts, diaphanous dresses layered with jackets, and boxy tops. There is an abundance of plaids and floral embroidery in soft pastel and earthy hues. The showstopping looka floor length ikat print dress with hand embroidered floral motifsbrings together the designer’s signature aesthetic and Telangana’s craft forms under the spotlight. 

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Eka x TSCO at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2020

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Eka x TSCO at Lakme Fashion Week Summer Resort 2020

Eka

Eka

At the heart of the collection is Mahadevpur’s thigh-reeled tussar, cotton weaves from Narayanpet, combined with the dexterous single and double ikat technique done in Telangana’s Pochampally National Park. Each of these craft clusters inherit a generational skill, which demands active support from the designers of the country to remain relevant and in operation. A lot of young designers feel apprehensive to actively collaborate with the small craft belts of India, fearing the limitations of translating a western aesthetic to the garment. But Singh believes in embracing her roots in India’s craft heritage while lending a global signature to it.

 “These kinds of skill sets and crafts need to be preserved not just to add value to their local economy, but more so because these are rare crafts for the entire world. If a designer is looking for a technique as rare and indigenous, they have to come to the land where it originates from. This is the only way you can keep art forms sacrosanct and give it the honour it deserves.”