October 13, 2019 Asmita Aggarwal

Carpet Weaver

The Modis create a spectrum of the midnight sky intermingled with Persian motifs through their eponymous prêt line as debutants at LMIFW

By Asmita Aggarwal

She always knew she would be designing since she was 14, while he was helping his family set up looms in Varanasi, it was a match made in heaven. So when Paras Modi and Sonam met through common friends, they hit it off instantly, even though their relationship started off as a business transaction with the former helping her with fabrics she needed for her label.

After graduating from SNDT, Mumbai Sonam launched her label, but she joined hands with her husband, who handles menswear, under Arya, in 2013 and began Sva, or soul in Sanskrit, while she looked after the women’s section. “We felt a bridge needed to be built between traditional embroideries and modern approach, that’s what we attempt to do. Each of the Indian wear pieces we design have an extra element that makes it unique, it could come with a draped blouse or a zipper, while our prêt line focuses on easy silhouettes, but with versatility,” she confirms.

LMIFW SS’20 is their debut show and it comes with a boho chic vibe, inspired by their fervent travels, reflecting an urban nomad, with vibrant prints and kaftans. Pleats, threadwork and textures along with appliqué form the basis of the line, as each embroidery technique replicates Persian carpets and its distinct motifs. “Our area of expertise is handwork, and we indulge in pitta or beaten metal work, with subtle undertones, nothing is overpowering,” she adds. The palette includes their signature midnight blues, beige, and stormy greys intermingled with carpet motifs, in cotton-silk, crepes and georgettes.

Paras’ family is known for creating woven fabrics and never got into designing, but with him taking the lead, textiles have always been a part of the label’s ideology. “We think of an independent young woman when it comes to our label, and because I studied business management at Leeds, London, I take care of the finances. People’s perception and tastes keep changing and everyone wants something new, as a young label the challenge is to be able to sustain, as things don’t come on a platter for us. In a way it is healthy as we evolve, learn and unlearn,” he concludes.

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