Rina Singh of Eka on bringing 2020’s upcyling development to menswear


Making a case for a trans-seasonal wardrobe for males at a time when moral design is vital

You possibly can say that 2020 is when ‘upcycling’ joined the luxurious vocabulary. Final month, when Miu Miu introduced a capsule assortment of clothes made out of refashioned classic clothes, they have been becoming a member of a rising record of worldwide luxurious manufacturers that have been both making sense of extra stock or sharing plans to be much less wasteful.

Rina Singh

For creatives, I feel this yr was a blessing; a time to introspect and re-align. The previous few months of revision additionally caused a change in how we, at Eka, plan our collections and design cycles. I spent loads of quiet, reflective time at house in Gurgaon within the months of March and April, a interval once we often do most of our gross sales. I realised that owing to the shortage of assets because of the pandemic, we could not be capable to develop as many textiles as we had up to now. It made me flip to our stock amassed through the years from our community of weavers in Phulia, Murshidabad, Bhagalpur and elsewhere. We recycled loads of these textiles imaginatively. We used overdyes, prints and patchwork, and we created menswear.

Rina Singh of Eka on bringing 2020’s upcyling trend to menswear

The swimsuit various

With Eka Core, I wished to make a proposal for males who didn’t need to be confined to fits. Would they, as a substitute, take into account simple shapes to work, lounge, journey or vacation in? Prior to now, I’ve picked up loads of stuff for my husband, Sandeep, from boutiques in Paris and New York and small labels in Tokyo that supply good collections for males. I used to be impressed by the workmanship and the simple cuts of those items. Sandeep’s individualistic style has resulted in a wardrobe replete with clear, practical items, together with trial-and-error coordinates from our pattern room. I used to be impressed by his worn-to-shreds Comme des Garçon clothes and the intelligent ending inside-out. Then there’s Rajesh Pratap, who has at all times led by instance together with his cuts, finishes, materials and by being delicate to aware design. I come from a household of agriculturalists. It’s typically mentioned that design is developed or an acquired aesthetic. I really feel it’s one thing that should match your philosophy of life. For me, this could be craft, group dwelling, a easy life.

Consolation is paramount to my collections. Breathable textiles are tough to stitch near the physique, thus giving room across the form and creating silhouettes which might be saggy, beneficiant, slouchy. Having a robust maintain over indigenous textiles and utilizing them to create snug shapes whereas working with womenswear since 2011 has additionally been channelised right here. Core is an concept that I had seeded final yr and it was anyhow as a consequence of be launched this yr. The pandemic gave it a nudge as every day necessities turned a necessity.

A snapshot from the collection

Not a capsule assortment

I don’t anticipate males to purchase as girls; as an example, in the event that they like the autumn of a pair of trousers, they might purchase these in three colors whereas girls have a tendency to select a spread. On the similar time, I really feel menswear is a stronger, extra loyal market as seasonal collections don’t want an enormous variation. The textiles utilized in Eka menswear received’t require a lot floor and design developments. The concept is so as to add parts that make it work for the section of males who’re developed of their style sensibility. This isn’t a capsule assortment however shall be ongoing. In pure textiles like wool, linen and cotton, all recycled and repurposed from Eka collections, they’ve a timelessness and performance.

Proper now, our real-time entry to the world by way of social media and commerce platforms has made the world a smaller place. Garments are however one medium that exhibit how the strains are blurring for design identities — transcending nation of origin and native design sensibility. They benefit by way of the native craft panorama and expression of non-public identification. We are able to both reside in our silos or create a fluid language with intelligent identification to cross over and merge.

Rina Singh is the founder and designer of Eka and Eka Core. Her début menswear line launches on ogaan.com on December 5.

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