October 11, 2015 Asmita Aggarwal

Soaked in love

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Sonali Pamnani’s label The Meraki Project hopes to dress women of all ages and this SS 16 she is creating magic with cotton, linen and ikkat.

By Asmita Aggarwal

“Meraki” or Greek for soul love or finding that creative edge, something that you cherish and can’t do without seemed an appropriate title for Sonali Pamnani’s label as it mirrors her admiration for all things organic whether it is Malkha or Ikkat. That’s why the ‘First Cut’ designer, who is participating at the AIFW SS’16 is excited about showcasing a line soaked in the weave which has charmed generations for eons.

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“The Meraki Project, was launched in March 2014, after Sonali graduated from NIFT (Hyderabad) in fashion designing and worked with designer Nida Mahmood and the clothing label Mineral for a bit. I always loved clothes and textiles have been my guiding light. Coming from a business family, I wanted to do something, I could call my own,” she smiles.

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Breaking free from the myth that textiles are rough, and non drape-y, Sonali worked at modernising crafts and ikkat was her first love, which you will see lots of in her SS 16 line, “Be silly, be weird’, which embraces our inherent human quirks.

“It’s a fun line which has lots of textures, mixed patterns as well as structure and movement. It is a unique take on how, when we are with ourselves are mostly carefree, but when we go out in society we put on this mask to portray a different us. We are losing ourselves due to society’s pressure to conform and adapt. This was an issue I wanted to address through fashion,” she explains.

Using pure cotton and linen, she has interspersed it with mustards, onion pinks and indigo blues to usher in spring. “We don’t make complicated silhouettes; rather we focus on contrasts and layering. We add little touches with bow ties and fabric belts to mix it up,” she adds.

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A big admirer of Pero’s Aneeth Arora and her commitment to crafts, she is also fascinated by Rina Singh of Eka, who has given weaves a new spin. “We like to design for independent women, who let their personality speak rather than their outfits. Are ensembles merge in and don’t stand out. If I wasn’t a designer I would certainly have been a psychologist or probably be pursuing interior design,” she grins.

As a parting shot, she will also tell you that The Meraki Project is not dressing a particular age group of women, rather she hopes that women from 17 to 80 can wear her ensembles. “I hope I can take my label international and also launch my website soon,” she concludes.

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Read more from Day 4 #AIFWSS16 on the Amazon.in Blog

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