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Shades of India’s ‘Wäkhi’ brings in the festivities

An ode to the textiles of Central Asia – by David Housego & Mandeep Nagi

Article curated by Naina Kumar

Shades of India:

Texture, colour, balance and comfort – these are our guiding principles at Shades of India. Inspired by the richness and endless possibility of crafts, we create pieces that have an inherent simplicity and exquisite detail. We treasure what we do as textile art – be it the beauty of a trim on a dress or the surface treatment of a cushion. We design each product with an inventiveness; for example, by layering varied techniques on fabric – printing with foil, texturing and then embroidery. This ability to create unique textiles is our distinctive feature. And it comes from long years of experience and a deep knowledge of each process, which is reflected in the richness of our archives. Founded by Mandeep Nagi and David Housego in 2007, Shades of India marries their personal and professional love for textiles with their passion for adapting and applying the breadth of Indian crafts to contemporary, global lifestyle needs. Design Director Mandeep Nagi imbued a love for textiles, growing up, and trained as a textile designer at NIFT. She has won acclaim for her specific aesthetic, which brings together various crafts and techniques to create unique textiles and designs. A former journalist, David Housego is also a textile collector and craft connoisseur who brings his incredible knowledge and experience, and distinctive eye to his role as the Founder and Chairman of Shades of India. Together, they have built a brand with a singular aesthetic that celebrates the best of Indian craft, through a modern, international lens. Shades of India works with over 900 artisans in various capacities, and master weavers and craftspeople across the country. Our business model reflects the 25 years of experience and legacy we have built up, working first with international clients and then in the Indian retail market as well. We have four verticals – Cedar, Chinar, Cinnamon, and Fig, all of which reflect our expertise with textiles, techniques and our playful, contemporary interpretations of craft and artisanal traditions.

A treasure trove of vintage textiles from Central Asia collected over the years by David Housego and Mandeep Nagi, the Co-founders of Shades of India offered rich inspiration for this season’s festive offering from this much loved textile label. Embroidered accessories and head gear to be precise. The beauty of the silver thread running through the caps in ornate motifs is the muse behind this festive collection titled “Wäkhi”. The name comes from the tribe itself found in the “Wakhan” corridor of Central Asia.

“Our collection takes inspiration from costumes of the tribes of this area and is incorporated with different techniques highlighting the eclectic styles of nomadic groups. The seemingly dry and rough terrains with bright and vibrant hues reflect the extraordinary sense of colour and form of these textiles”, says Mandeep Nagi, Design Director, Shades of India.

Bold prints inspired by the flora of the region along with metallic hues of hand block print give a distinct character to the home textiles & garments and showcase the timelessness of their culture. “At Shades of India”, we present ways of celebrating life through textiles and costumes play an inherent part in our stories”, adds Mandeep Nagi. The varying metal hues, reflecting the change of seasons, add contrast and diversity.  

Wäkhi is a celebration of indigenous techniques, textures and culturally rich textiles, that come together to offer elegant and versatile pieces of keepsake garments. Bead work, embroideries, prints and handcrafted embellishments is what has always inspired the unique repertoire at Shades of India.

This collection and its inspiration hold true the ethos of Shades of India – a brand that puts their passion for textiles at the heart of their every creation. Their collections embody the desire to create unexpected textures & colours that reflect a commitment to make textiles that become evergreen heirlooms, while highlighting simplicity with intricate detailing to bring out the beauty of traditional communities.

“Wäkhi ” by Shades of India will be  available at their exclusive boutiques in Mumbai and Delhi as well as partner stores like Good Earth, Ogaan, Anonynm, Amethyst etc. 

Online – www.shadesofindia.com

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