In the four-and-a-half years since she co-founded multi-brand store MaalGaadi, Shahin Ansari has brought several eclectic designers to the city as part of various trunk shows and pop-ups. Very good at identifying upcoming, lesser-known indie brands — which seem to gain popularity soon after she puts them in the spotlight — she says, “We visit fashion weeks and exhibitions in other cities, keeping an eye out for designers who fit our aesthetic. Since we approach them early, it is easy to get them on board.” Pinterest and Instagram are also happy hunting grounds, and she has frequently discovered connections, like designer Neha Vaswani, there.
The fourth edition of their KaMAALGAADi pop-up features around 20 such brands, some of whom are coming to the city for the first time. “We have tried to include both western and indo-western aesthetics while sticking to our fun, quirky spirit, and we wanted the name of the pop-up to reflect that,” laughs Ansari. We pick five labels to check out at the store, on August 3 and 4.
As one of India’s few ambassadors of steampunk fashion, New Delhi-based Abhisek Basak’s designs — cufflinks, brooches, neckpieces, and even lights — are a perfect marriage of Victorian-era style and a neo-futuristic, sci-fi sensibility. Ansari’s interest was piqued as they make upmarket products from materials they find. Basak is particularly fond of old watches, saying, “It is an amazing metaphor for the journey of the evolution in metal works, crafting, art and fashion.” Prices range from ₹5,000 to ₹12,000. absynthedesign.com
The Kolkata-based designer enjoys incorporating subtle embroidery and intricate threadwork in her line of fusion and Indian wear. “We offer a wide range of silhouettes ideal for occasions ranging from brunches, baby showers and festive get-togethers to weddings,” she says. Her clothes — gowns, lehengas and other ensembles in contemporary cuts — are versatile and prices range from ₹8,000 to ₹30,000. Write to [email protected] or call 7085055257
A self-professed “weaveaholic”, the Luxembourg-based designer experiments with Indian textile, and engineers new hybrids. She enjoys dressing up women “who are environmentally conscious but also love wearing quirky clothes”. At KaMaalgaadi, she showcases her line, Baagh Maama, inspired by the Royal Bengal tiger. The big cat is a predominant motif, and natural silks and folklore-inspired kantha work also feature. Prices range from ₹10,000 to ₹28,000. Write to [email protected] or WhatsApp 7980231137
Half Full Curve
This inclusive brand caters to diverse body types, creating clothes for the curvy woman that are not all oversized or anti-fit, but bold, well-fitted, and keeping with global trends. Their line, Vintage Garden, is a resort wear collection in pastel shades juxtaposed with intricate, pop-hued thread embroidery inspired by crayon art. “Lightweight, sheer chanderi gives the collection a breezy feel with relaxed, chic silhouettes,” says designer Tinka Bhatia. Prices range from ₹8,000 to ₹18,000. halffullstore.com
A welcome addition to the world of modern men’s fashion, TISA is a new minimalist design house from Mumbai that embraces simplicity and experimental silhouettes. Aesthetic fabrics and hand-crafted techniques go to create luxurious pieces. Brainchild of Timir Savla, the line aims to change attitudes towards men’s Indian wear. Prices range from ₹6,000 to ₹22,000. tisa.co.in
On August 3 and 4, at 6/1, 4th Main Road, Besant Nagar, from 11 am to 8 pm. 42103242
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