A look and feel of Shilpsutra’s recent foray into a line of womenswear
Known for their ‘Indian luxury footwear’, Delhi-based label Shilpsutra has recently ventured into clothing too. Their SS’21 collection SRJAN, a luxury couture line, is romantic, wispy and feminine. Designer Shilpa Agarwalla chatted with t2 on the new venture and her plans for the brand.
Was being a clothes label always on your mind?
Absolutely! We were constantly thinking about clothes. Our long-term goal is to cover all categories, which is why the word “sutra” appears in our brand name. For us, the clothing category is only the beginning and more categories will be added as time goes on.
Would you say the aesthetics are the same, of your footwear line and your clothes?
Yes, to a point. We, however, strongly believe that change is inevitable and that we should do our utmost to complement the flow of time and its course. So, with each of our collections and product lines, we try to keep our trademark intact while adding a pinch of X factor.
Revival, the first collection that was luxury pretwear, appears to be quite dreamy. Please elaborate on the style, aesthetics, and how the collection came to be.
We appreciate you saying that, and yes it sure looks ethereal. The whole concept came to us as we were all struggling to recover from the pandemic impact and unsure of what lay ahead. With all of the constraints in weddings and celebrations, we figured why not focus on something that doesn’t compromise on the grandness of the event while remaining light on our customers and their pockets. With the current situation and season in mind, the aim was to build something affordable, unique, and light to carry. All of our saris are made of lightweight organza and they highlight delicate thread work and hand-painted blouses. And our lehngas are a sight to behold, with placement hand paintings and one-of-a-kind bead, thread, and coin handwork.
Tell us about your new collection SRJAN...
The collection is an intriguing blend of silhouettes that combines our artisans’ craftsmanship with the modern world. We have explored various age-old techniques such as intricate thread work, resham embroidery, and the finest use of rings and crystals on organza silk fabric in order to capture the essence of the most authentic Indian art forms. It combines two types of art — hand embroidery and hand painting. Although the silhouettes remain traditional, the finesse of the craftsmanship redefines the visual approach of modern women. From soft, breezy saris to comfortable and trendy anarkalis to twirl-worthy lehngas, each piece is meticulously designed to make you shine brighter. The eye-catching colour palette is invigorating throughout the year. We’ve also put together an exciting line of juttis, with each piece having a matching jutti with embellished artwork and the same colours as the collection.
What are your future plans for the brand?
Our overall strategy is to continue to expand substantially faster than the segment by bringing the most trendy, high-quality products at an affordable price point to the new generation of global women. We want to accomplish this by finding white spaces within our target categories and then systematically pursuing them. We are looking at both online and offline channels and are now looking to create separate teams for those channels due to the different skills required. Finally, none of this would be possible without a strong team in place, so finding passionate and capable people who will develop the brand and grow with us remains a top priority.