Of polka dots and Pondicherry

If you don’t own a piece from Pondicherry slow fashion champ Naushad Ali's eponymous label then it's high time to head over to his e-store. The only home-grown designer to show at the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week, Summer Resort 2018, Naushad received rave reviews.

Presenting a capsule collection in soft silk, cotton and linen 'When the Dot Took a Walk' gave us some beautiful dresses and separates with the designer's trademark charm. "We definitely keep our designs easy, breezy and beautiful - that is our ideal client. One of the most essential parts of our design process is sustainability in terms of fabric development, through craft, and its use." the NIFT alumnus tells us.

Whilst sustainability is enjoying a well-deserved place in the couture galaxy, it is designers like Ali who translate eco-friendly fabrics and processes into wearable garments that we can rejoice in every day and ensures that sustainable fashion is here to stay.

"Our newest collection sees us trying our hands at mud-resist printing techniques. It is a contemporary take on traditional motifs and dyeing in natural shades. We worked closely with our favourite dyers in Jodhpur." the Pondicherry native shares.

We can look forward to Naushad's fluid silhouettes with cheeky polka dots in yellow and in a monochrome palette, trendy checks in burnt orange and more. On his third successful showing at LFW, the 32-year-old says he is grateful for the experience "Lakme Fashion week is always a great platform to show our designs and interact with not just the fashion community but also direct clients because of the extensive coverage on social media platforms. It definitely puts one on the map, so to speak."

Naushad, who started his label in 2014, studied at NIFT, Chennai (2008) and lived in Bengaluru for a few years honing his design skills. Moving back to his hometown in 2013 to start his business, he recounts "Honestly, I never really felt like I never really fit in there at a big city. We are tucked away in Pondicherry and sometimes it is a challenge for the business but I think it's the charm of this place that inspires and drives our designs, ultimately setting us apart from the mainstream."

(Available in Chennai at the Amethyst Room and online www.shopnaushadali.in)

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