EXCLUSIVE: Designer Shruti Sancheti on Alchemy collection, celeb outfits, and fail-safe picks for summer
From go-to picks for the wedding guests to getting summer fashion right and about her latest collection, Alchemy, here's all you need to know.
Nothing as beautiful as home, right? Here's a designer who seconds this and we saw it come live through her collection on Day 1 of the FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week. With 10 years of experience backing her incredible skill to design contemporary and stellar ensembles, Shruti Sancheti had us wowed as she showcased, "THE ALCHEMY". A collection that was an ode to her roots and it was her first with the menswear range. We caught up with this talented soul and here's all we know about her fashion label.
1) How would you describe Shruti Sancheti's signature design?
A: I have two brands. One, a luxury brand with a sharp bent on textiles and craft with understated opulence and restrained luxury. And, the second is a Pret brand with a sharp focus on smart casuals with an organic appeal. However, the common binding factor of both the brands is that we focus on ethical fashion and sustainable production and a deep boho feel as we are heavily influenced by various cultures. The other important common factor is that the look might be international or global but all brands have an Indian soul.
2) Fashion is an incessant learning process, name 3 intriguing techniques you've infused into your collections?
A: Everyone has a story to share in the last 2 years and I did a lot of bridal wear for quarantine weddings and infused some timeless techniques in them.
There was a huge demand for Danka, an embroidery technique from the royal houses of Udaipur and Shekhawati. Although ancient techniques used real silver diskettes, I made them contemporary and accessible by converting them into German silver.
The second technique we have used is a laborious Mughal technique of Ektaar, as the name symbolises it is intricate embroidery done with a single strand of thread and almost looks like a print.
And, next, is the pita work which is an art of beating metallic threads to flatten them and we made this ancient more contemporary and modern. Along with a lot of block and screen printing and details like quilting and stitch lines have been added for the handcrafted, luxurious feel of slow, timeless fashion.
3) How do you put together a collection? What is your key focus area?
A: When putting a collection together, I literally feel I am sharing a story and experiences. For instance, one of my collections speaks of my roots. A small town in Shekhawati, which I revisited and my realisation that whatever I do and whenever I go, my roots catch up with me and find their way in my design process. My focus area is that my target consumer comprehends my story.
4) Your collections boast of coordinated outfits. Can you tell us 3 complementing ways to style these?
A: Coordinated outfits are popular. However, this is a timeless trend and really looks immaculate and people find it easy to coordinate. Firstly, one can style it by firstly adding some contrast in accessories Secondly, it can go in a coordinated direction by adding a solid layer. Thirdly, it can look put together with a tone on tone or print on the print direction and the rest of the look can be kept bare and minimalistic.
5) Can you name 3 custom-made attires you've designed for celebrities? What is the most versatile and your favourite creation?
A: Though we have styled many celebrities and all are special, some appearances were memorable. My favourite Vidya Balan wore a customised contemporary Maharashtrian fusion dress for India Parade in the USA. I customised a few outfits during Anushka Sharma’s pregnancy and she looked ethereal the look worn by Kareena Kapoor for the Veere Di Wedding movie promo is a personal favourite.
6) Your collection Maverick is an ode to summer fashion from peppy hues to designs. Can you name some of the must-haves for the season?
A: Maverick was conceptualised during the second wave and it was an optimistic and hopeful collection for everyone yearning to travel. The mood board was euphoria which was missing in those tough times and vibrant prints, easy-breezy boho silhouettes, and laid-back styling summed up the collection. The lilac print shirt dress, an off-shoulder dress, coordinated sets, comfy Indian wear, and kaftans remain as hot-sellers and personal favourites.
7) What sets apart your Indian Wear collection from the rest?
A: My Indian wear carries a lot of craft and research. I'm a history and here we always believe in contemporary patterns with a global feel and an impeccable finish and immaculate details.
My lilac organza shacket and ghagra skirt dress with an embroidered bustier, a vibrant coordinated paisley print tomato sharara dress, and a print on print off-shoulder ghagra and crop top are my favourites.
8) Give us a little something on your upcoming Pret Collection the 'PINNACLE'?
A: My Pret collection Mellow drama is an ode to smart casuals for everyday dressing and appropriate for the new normals like quarantine dressing, zoom meetings, etc. It fulfills the needs and wants of consumers looking for sustainable, smart, versatile, season fluid, easy-breezy looks on various sizes and easy on the pocket.
9) Could you give us a mini verbal trip of what viewers can expect from your collection at the Lakmé Fashion Week?
A: This collection which I am showcasing at the Fashion Week is a tribute to my roots - Churu an idyllic town in Shekhawati consisting of beautiful worn-down Havelis with fresco paintings and vibrant culture of craft and colour. I am trying to tell a story about my town, and the fact that you can take a person out of their homeland but their homeland stays with the person always. Slow timeless fashion with a bent on nostalgia, craft, and beautiful textiles in myriad hues are something that will be showcased.
10) In your words, could you tell us a few ethical practices fashion labels could use to bring about a change for a better tomorrow?
A: First of all compassion towards the environment and coworkers is something every brand must practice. Usage of natural fibers, azo-free dyes, recycling practices, slow season fluid looks are important as well.
11) Where do you see the Shruti Sancheti fashion label in the next 2-3 years?
A: We are already expanding and we want to diversify further with many sub-brands and product categories, all having the signature look.
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