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Leaving behind a furiously freezing New York City, we landed in Mumbai yesterday to find a yellow muslin dress that seemed as warm as sunlight. A closer look yielded polka dots, and the discovery that, if held up to another light, the dress would look green. Lime green, like the colour of a beach cocktail that could land you in a lot of trouble. 

Summer, we’re back in Bombay and glad to find you in more forms than just the humidity, one of them being a clothes line for women by Simran Chaudhry. A NIFT graduate who started by knitting clothes for dolls, she spent the last four years working on design and visual merchandising for fashion label Abraham & Thakore. Brand new, her clothing line is called Artisau, because Simran is “allergic to polyester” (sensitive skin, not snobbish) and therefore focuses on weaves and textiles. Sourcing cotton muslin from Shantipur in Bengal, Tussar from East India and cotton silk from Bihar, she aims to make the basic brilliant. She succeeds, at least for the most part.

Knit That Kind of Girl

The clothes themselves reminded us of a poor man’s Pero - which in the wake of Pero’s Rs 40,000 dresses, may not be the worst thing - featuring cloudy fabrics with tiny details on piping and hem, sleeve cuffs and shirt labels that we enjoyed discovering. We’re eyeing, or rather flying, towards a pretty sky blue wrap-around jhabla top and nurse-gone-bohemian candy striper dress with rose linen jacket

At the mention of similarities to Pero, Simran does not skirt the issue. “Pero’s clothes are more feminine. The Artisau girl is older, mature and comfortable in her own skin,” smiles Simran, and mentions late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s wardrobe, it’s handloom saris and overcoats as her inspiration.

Weave, the people?

While Simran is taking orders over email and via her Facebook page, Artisau will have its first exhibition next weekend in Kolkata. The brand retails at Evolution in Chennai and will soon be available at stores in Mumbai and Delhi as well.

Getting there: Artisau, to order email or view the Facebook page here, prices start at Rs 4,500, delivery across India.


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