t2 tunes in to a style talk for tiny tots

Dressing up children has never been an easy task. It’s hard enough to find something that looks good, and then they grow out of it. Then, there’s also comfort and needs to be taken into account. While adults could walk for hours in uncomfortable heels, when children do not like something — well, hell hath no fury like when they are forced to wear it.

  • Published 11.02.15
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Dressing up children has never been an easy task. It’s hard enough to find something that looks good, and then they grow out of it. Then, there’s also comfort and needs to be taken into account. While adults could walk for hours in uncomfortable heels, when children do not like something — well, hell hath no fury like when they are forced to wear it.

Addressing the concerns that are a part of planning a child’s wardrobe, Style Creche, the newest kidswear destination set up by Rachana Goenka at Ballygunge Phari (55 Gariahat Road, opposite Mukti World), hosted a chat session where some kidswear designers interacted with parents.

The panel of kidswear designers strikes a pose. (Clockwise from left) Karuna Kedia, Rachana Goenka, Rohan Arora, Neha Garodia, moderator Jessica Gomes Surana, Oiendrila Roy and Vasundhara Mantri. “I think we have entered a wonderland. This is something so new and so challenging, yet handling children is something that is so beautiful. More than parents, it is the kids who know exactly what they want to wear. However, with kids’ fashion, it’s important to keep in mind that while mimicking adults, the innocence should not be lost,” said Jessica, a mother of two. 

Designer Anamika Khanna dropped by the store for a look. “Little kids love dressing up. Calcutta really needed a cute and happy place like this... leave five-six little girls here and I can only imagine what would happen!” she said. Checking out the section for boys, Anamika marvelled at the cut and styling. “It’s almost like it is designed for adults — such style! Kids are, after all, the first priority for parents, so why not?”
Do we see an Anamika Khanna for children label? “I don’t understand the proportions, it’s a different space of expertise. However, as long as we have a place like this, fashion for your little ones is in good hands,” she smiled.
Talking of fashion, we couldn’t take our eyes off Anamika’s easy-breezy androgynous #ootd with a hint of femininity. A classic black-and-white combo can never go wrong, and AK plays it well for a comfortable yet chic look, perfect for making social calls. 

Neha Garodia, whose label Mi Dulce An’ya only uses organic cotton and natural dyes, spoke about the importance of organic fabrics in kidswear: “Granted it’s expensive, but organic fabric means that there are no chemicals involved at any level of production. Which is especially important for kidswear because some colours and fabrics can be major irritants to the child’s skin.”

“If menswear was bad, kidswear is given even lesser importance in India,” said Karuna Kedia of Mimosa, a brand that specialises in clothes with Indian fabrics and western silhouettes. “With traditional Indian wear, it’s all the more important to know that the fabric shouldn’t be hard, keeping in mind the place where it is going to be worn,” she said, adding that as a kidswear designer you even have to “soften the labels”. 

Foraying into jewellery for kids, Vasundhara Mantri said jewellery was a good investment for kids too. “It is not something that they grow out of. When little girls see their mothers wearing jewellery, they want to wear them too. So instead of handing them your expensive pieces, why not just get them something specifically prepared for them.”

With no formal training in designing, it was by chance that Rohan Arora got into the shoe-making business and to designing for kids “at Rachana’s insistence”. Rohan echoed Anamika Khanna’s (who visited the store earlier) view of keeping proportions in mind, speaking of how hard it actually is to make kids’ shoes because the moulds are so tiny.

“Nee & Oink’s garments are called ‘miniature adults’ because it’s important to put in the same amount of conviction into making clothes for children as one would while making dresses for adults. Plus, the designer kidswear market is billed to grow up to Rs 72,000 crore by 2016. Don’t skimp on the details because you think no one will pay for it. Different people will always have different perspectives,” said designer Oiendrila Roy, who stressed on the need to keep the material in mind while buying because “when kids don’t like it they take it off and refuse to wear it again”.

Text: Riddhima Khanna
Pictures: Rashbehari Das

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