In a retail world swamped with fashionable garments of all manner of styles and patterns, what makes a brand stand out is its unique design vocabulary. And an aesthetic sensibility that not just respects age-old traditions but takes them forward to a fresh and exciting future. Something that Vrisá, with stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur, is doing with great elan. Traversing the exciting narratives of rich civilisations across the world, and connecting different people, cultures and practices, both ancient and contemporary, little wonder then that the brand has carved a niche for itself as a leading boho chic label.
Blending in myriad silhouettes, patterns, embroideries and detailing, for founders Rahul and Shikha Mangal, it is all about piecing together fashion forward garments that integrate age-old textiles and craft traditions. Conceptualised in June 2013, the brand has come a long way from its initial days. As Rahul recalls, “Vrisá was started with a small idea to improvise and sustain our roots, on a small patch of fabric and embroidery, carrying forward the age-old craft and textiles of our country. We have taken inspiration from different trade routes and historical sites, and have tried to rejuvenate these cultures by infusing them with new styles, new textiles and new ideas.”
Keeping true to their ideals, every design collection allows for a tradition rooted in this culture of fashion that can also be an expression through historical patterns and possibilities. Travelling from Samarkand and Iran, or the fuzzy borders between Kutch and Rajasthan where a garment absorbs both traditions but produces a new effect every time, their ensembles are a sight to behold.
The feedback has been phenomenal. “We are delighted by the responses we receive. We have customers excited about our collections, which gives us so much motivation. It’s amazing to see how customers understand the philosophy and feel the inspiration behind each design,” says Shikha.
What the brand is trying to achieve is to be effortlessly cosmopolitan and timeless, taking inspiration from art and history. A distinct traditional aesthetic that translates seamlessly into Indian and Western separates, makes this brand a cut above the rest. Another advantage the brand holds over others is the expertise it brings in while marrying an array of fabrics—from the light-as-breath chiffons to the thick wools—all boasting intricate detailing and delicate prints.
Elaborating on the design vocabulary that encompasses faraway lands from Uzbekistan and Persia to our locally known treasure troves such as Rajasthan and Kutch, the duo say, “Vrisá’s design vocabulary is a vivid picture of historical art, in terms of painting, textiles, architecture, and crafts styles. And these are the places that have offered us so many beautiful stories to tell.”
For example, their collection, ‘Samarkand’, is inspired by Uzbekistan, which played an important role during the Silk Route for the exchange of art, culture and textile. ‘Ahir’ is inspired by the criss-crossing of borders between Rajasthan and Kutch, setting the pace for a new nomadic, layered look, bringing together two beautiful crafts, bandhani and the Kutch embroidery. While ‘Char Chinar’ showcases the delicate and intricate beauty and skill of Kashmiri hand embroidery on Persian and ikat fabrics.
So what next on their design palette? “We are constantly thinking and innovating, looking for new narratives while staying very attuned to changes around us. With a mood to uplift considering the current state we are in, our next collection brings some breezy florals and soothing pastels to brighten up our summer wardrobes and monotonous moods. This collection is a colourful vision of homemade gardens and sunny afternoons. We always work with organic material, and this collection will be no different,” they say.