Sand Art: Rhythms of Desert by Purvi Doshi

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Wearing flowing silhouettes, their feet freed of gravity-defying heels, models twirled to their heart’s delight at Purvi Doshi’s show. In a sea of glittering ethnicwear at Bangalore Fashion Week, the Ahmedabad-based designer stood out with her understated take on traditional ensembles that pays homage to the desert. Approved by the likes of Kajol, Nandita Das (who wore it to Cannes), and a bevy of B-Town celebs, Doshi narrated the story behind her new collection in a chat with us at the end of her show.

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What is the story of Rhythms of Desert?
I’m from Gujarat; I was born, and grew up surrounded by the Rann of Kutch and countless deserts. For me, everything about the desert and its people are inspiring—their colours, music, way of life, and the nomadic spirit of the local tribes.

How did you translate the desert into your designs?
The desert is everywhere in my collection. The embroidery is inspired by the mud work on the indigenous houses and the floral motifs and silhouettes draw from the garment of the local communities.

Which is your favourite colour?
Off white. I only use natural dyes which limit my palette to some extent; for this collection, we incorporated red, olive, and brown along with off white to evoke the colours of the desert.

What are some of the key pieces in the collection?
The short red top and triangle top are a great blend of contemporary with traditional and extremely versatile. I also have a soft spot for the tiered skirts in the collection.

 

Tell us about the look for your show at Bangalore Fashion Week.
We wanted to have striking but subtle accessories which wouldn’t leave the models overwhelmed. The silver jewellery worn by the models were sourced from Amrapali and I substituted high heels for bare feet adorned with anklets. The models loved it!

Who is the Purvi Doshi woman?
First and foremost, my collections are for Indian women. Everyone loves to dress up, but some feel conscious about being plump others are dissuaded by the high fashion garments they see on the runway.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I create sensible clothes I love to wear, and would want others to wear too. My designs are based on a mix of practicality and sustainability. My teenage daughter wears my design with the same ease as a model. I work on khadi and like wearable pieces. My designs are traditional but don’t lack contemporaneity. After all, Indian clothes don’t have to be boring.

Who would you like to see wearing your designs?
It’s always nice to have celebrities wearing my clothes. But I would love to see more women entrepreneurs, athletes, and leaders in my designs.

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