October 13, 2023 FDCI

Simple Thinking

Ka-Sha completes ten years in fashion, she infuses the line with imagery of emotions replicated through the prism of relaxed clothing, and monochromes as bead work becomes a show stealer.

By Asmita Aggarwal

Pune-based Karishma Shahani Khan is known for her eclectic layering, which was much appreciated on her showcasing at the London Fashion Week some years ago. The London College of Fashion graduate, has had quite an interesting inspiration palate from Rabaris, to zero waste and crochet, always looking at repurposing with engaging processes.

Now that her label is celebrating ten years of its existence, the thought always has been, to keep in mind—the wearer, maker, and materials. It is a tough trek to make a brand 100 percent sustainable, but consumption patterns have changed, as the need to be self-sufficient, and work with fewer resources is paramount post-covid.


The subsidiary label Heart-to-Haat, which is a heartfelt ode to reusing, by Karishma, upcycles the waste from the main artery Ka-Sha, converting it into rugs, cushion covers to home décor items. “I think we like to throw around big words like ‘consciousness’, ‘mindfulness’, ‘sustainable’, but looking at it holistically, it is impossible. Unless we make small changes to the way we create, or wear a piece,” she explains. Thus, most jackets are reversible, offering versatility, and multiple usage, working with the same group of artisans, despite many challenges like the lack of skilled weavers, in Pune, unlike the city of crafts Kolkata. She worked on setting up an ecosystem of training, and skilling women, in turn building with families, she was firm on not keeping inventory, and refused to go on sale later to get rid of the stock.

“We make trans-seasonal products, which ensure longevity, this year for LFW she has paid homage to keeping and cherishing things, not quickly disposing, mostly offering value-driven ensembles. She worked with geometry —-lines, polka dots and appliques, with the show stopper being bead work on chanderis and pure cottons. Inspired by the poems of Lebanese author, Khalil Gibran, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup,” from his award-winning book, The Prophet. It was her take on marriage and relationships and how distance can be a nurturer, as you learn the law of acceptance.

Each piece can be mixed and matched, you can style them interestingly, as there is an intermingling of triangles, stripes, and dots, and add value to each other on a garment as “intangible emotions” is the inspiration. “Relaxed clothing that makes you look and feel beautiful is the metaphor for us, not red-carpet dressing. It woos functionality with pockets, practicality with natural textures,” she adds. Thus, her signature monochromes play along with crimsons.

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