Monday 23 September 2019

Indian designer bridges east and west to go Dutch

A fashion designer in India is reaching out to the international community in the Netherlands in a bid to break into Europe.

Dutch women may not be renowned for their passion for high fashion, and their casual approach to both work and formal wear is one of the first things which new arrivals often notice. But Indian designer Amit Sachdeva hopes his cross-over designs will help change all that.

Amit uses simple cuts and classic drapes for his designs, which, his supporters say, are bound to appeal to the native Dutch as well as internationals and expats.

‘My approach to fashion is a melding of western notions of cut, construction and finish, but using Indian detailing and craftsmanship,’ Amit says. ‘My way of designing is very meditative. I like to take my own sweet time to finish or start a design. I can’t design under any time pressure. I am a perfectionist and pay attention to minutest details.’

Many in the Netherlands’ growing Indian community have heard of Amit’s label but as his client Charlotte Mulder, who lives in Amsterdam says, says, his designs are perfectly matched for everyone – whether or not they have Indian roots. ‘Amit is a great thinker and an even better observer which makes him an amazing designer,’ she says.

Amit produces two collections every season, one bridal and semi bridal and the other one is from his label HAS (handlooms by Amit Sachdeva).

Amit, who qualified as a textile designer is currently working with a set of weavers in the north east part of India for one collection. This is a region which is largely ignored as far as the Indian fashion scene is concerned.

The label HAS, or Handlooms by Amit Sachdeva is particularly suited to the less formal Dutch approach to fashion and is made of handloom or handwoven fabrics. It takes almost the entire day to weave a few inches of fabric, Amit points out.

The resulting silk – Eri – which he uses its also known as non-violent or wild silk, as it is made from the cocoon after the worm has left and is picked in the wild. The silk also offers 70% protection against UV lights.

This results in a fabric which is densely textured and has a slight sheen to it, making it very rich and unique. The current collection features bomber jackets, short and long dresses, crop tops and palazzo pants. ‘This collection,’ Amit says ‘is a perfect one for a high tea or a sun-downer be it summer or winter or even as resort wear.’

The Miabella bridal collection, on the other hand, is about a Italian girl who likes to drink wine and dreams of getting married yet refuses to grow up, Amit says.

The collection is made up of pastel gowns, handcrafted with rich textiles and embroidery.  Cuts are simple and classic with a modern twist and the dresses are embellished with pearls, sequins and cut work.

 

‘I was definitely the best dressed person at our 2018 Christmas dinner,’ says Regina Komakec, who lives in Utrecht and works for ABN Amro.

And Farzana Ahmadali, a finalist in the Miss India Holland contest and who lives in The Hague says: ‘Amit designs beautiful Indian clothes – and the pastel colours are really special, something I have not seen before.’

If you think the Dutch winter rules out wearing his designs, summer is only a few months away after all. And if you are an Indian bride-to-be, Amit’s designs are the perfect combination of modernity and Indian traditionality.

‘My brand operates as one that belongs neither in one market or the other, nor one country or another, Amit says. ‘It is a self developed niche for women who wish to dress in modernity and luxury, without abandoning their personal style and identities.’

‘My designs are for the free-spirited women who love to experiment and have a unique sense of styling, irrespective of nationality.’ What could be more Dutch?

Amit’s clothes are available by mail order via www.amitsachdevastudio.com. The website includes a specific section dedicated to the Indian diaspora.

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