Mastani might come across as another classic and structured label at first glance. But take a closer look, and you’ll find exquisite Indian crafts like block prints, chikankari and bandhani gracing its creations. It’s barely been a year that India-born Kudrat Makkar (28) started her label, and it is already making waves around the world for its seamless fusion of global styles with traditional Indian handiwork. For Melbourne-based Makkar, Mastani is the catalyst to preserving the vanishing traditional arts of India. In a quick chat with ELLE, the designer spills all the details.
The A/W 2019 collection
ELLE: What inspires your pieces?
Kudrat Makkar: Our first collection was heavily inspired by India and the second was all about Italian Gothic architecture. The latest Autumn-Winter 2019 line was influenced by the innovative mastery of Post-War Italian artist, Alberto Burri.
The fine, minimal embroidery on the garments are all crafted by hand
ELLE: Why the name Mastani?
KM: The name ‘Mastani’ is taken from an Indian princess who was a symbol of strength and femininity. My aim is to inspire confidence and empower women to express their multifaceted identity.
Mastani uses only natural, eco-friendly silks such as Eri and Tussar
ELLE: Describe your design aesthetic.
KM: The pieces are classic and timeless. My background is in architecture. So we experiment a lot with form, balance and structure, which is now a signature for the label.
The silhouettes are elegant and timeless
ELLE: Do you use traditional craftsmanship in your work?
KM: Each garment revitalises ancient Indian techniques such as chikankari, bandhani, sheesha embroidery, handlooming, block printing, and marble hand painting. We want to educate consumers on slow fashion and the importance of luxury with a strong social conscience.
ELLE: What is Mastani’s USP?
KM: We are a luxury label built on sustainability. Our
garments are constructed from Ahimsa (peace) silk as well as wools, cotton, recycled fabrics and fabrics derived from natural fibres. We also pride ourselves on reutilising our textile waste. No scraps are disposed off, but stored for finishings and trimmings on our garment bags.