kǣli is a personal journey that has circulated around my entire life as a fashion design student and my experience from visiting Japan. Through my journey, I came across an old Japanese tradition called boro mending. It is a form of art which mends old pieces of fabric together to create a new garment using Hand embroidery called sashiko stitching. My philosophy is to follow sustainable practices. In most of my collections, this further learning was a very valuable discovery in order to create new garments from wastage.
The boro tradition is a sustainable method to enhance the beauty of worn-out fabrics called the’ Wabi – Sabi tradition. Some boro garments are centuries old, passed down through the family as a family heirloom. The method is both timeless and absolutely sustainable. As a result, I started a campaign at my institute asking students and lecturers to donate old denim garments and other woven cotton scraps, which resulted in success. Eighty per cent of my design developments are taken from that collection. I have used denim patchwork of boro mixed with sashiko stitching and shibori methods. Instead of dying with indigo, I’m bleaching it out, making it a reverse shibori to add more value and texture, I use handloom fabrics, knits, crochet and bobbin lace.
The print inspiration for the collection came from manhole covers in Japan. When I was walking across japan these significant prints of covers truly inspired me to understand the essence and the aesthetical language of Japan. 'kǣli' means pieces in my native tongue and the main inspiration behind my concept was to bring pieces of waste fabrics together to create innovative textiles by incorporating diminishing heritage craftsmanship. My concept attempts to combine environmental and social aspects to create impactful garments that will benefit the wearer by providing a durable and quality product, producers by empowering the marginalized artisans and most importantly mother earth by designing responsibly. In terms of design, my garments pass on an ethos of timelessness by embracing low-tech high-tech techniques that express 3Rs in the complete garment lifecycle.