Label Raw Mango is known for its poetic amalgamation of India’s culture and rich handicrafts industry. For its latest collection, designer Sanjay Garg chartered into new territory by taking influence from the 18th-century European textile history. The silhouettes are an interesting hybrid between traditional and contemporary – the colours are soft and vintage with a hint of dark shades balancing the palette. Sanjay’s campaigns are always a visual treat and the ‘Romantics’ presentation is no different. In an exclusive conversation with ELLE, the designer talks about his latest line and how distinctive it is from his previous collections.
ELLE: ‘Romantics’ draws its inspiration from 18th-century European textile history, tell us about that?
Sanjay Garg: 18th-century European textile history was often lavish and novel in technique – it was the epicentre of luxury textile-producing the finest brocades. Unlike the proceeding Mughal era – the motifs of this time were quite pictorial, often relaying social scenes or finery. Raw Mango Festive 2021 – ‘Romantics’ relays pastels of the Rococo period through woven ornamentation like birds, flora & ribbons.
ELLE: You’ve been working with brocade for a long time, how have you differently incorporated it in your current collection?
SG: Every collection is an opportunity for me to express myself across multiple mediums. The textiles, silhouettes, campaigns are connected, but yet each also requires its own approach. Our Silhouettes are softer yet still restrained and share the spirit of the 18th century, an era embracing comfort, ease and privacy. We have explored quilting, ruffles, pearl beading, and beribboned garments with contrast black or gold piping that gives a corset-like form.
ELLE: ‘Romantics’ has a modern contemporary vibe to it, a departure from your authentic traditional collections, could you tell us about this shift?
SG: Raw Mango is always evolving. The mood of Romantics explores an undefined love and romance through three individuals, all of whom are enjoying themselves. Romance, infatuation, temptation and being in love are all different, but have many grey zones – all unplanned and wonderful and that is what the collection is inspired from.
ELLE: Tell us about the various handlooms and surface ornamentation techniques you’ve infused in this line?
SG: It has been fun to play with elements lesser-explored by us – pearl detailing and ribbons, and deciding how to balance delicate details.
ELLE: How did this collection come about and what was the behind-the-scenes process like?
SG: The 18th century or the Age of Enlightenment was an important time of social, cultural and design transition. At the time, Italy and France produced the finest brocades in the epicentre of luxury textile. It is also known as the Romantic Era, so it’s only fitting that our Romantics collection is inspired by this era, which was also the starting point or the initial thought behind this collection.
Picture Credit: Raw Mango