Recycling, upcycling and sustainable are synonymous with Asmita Marwa’s creations. She often takes the road less travelled and her collections are a reflection of her ideology.
Asmita Marwa, a Hyderabad-based designer has been creating and manufacturing garments in-house using ethical norms and practices. Her collections reflect her ideology as she takes tips from her trips and fuses traditional and global aesthetics to create the unconventional outfits. Asmita has been a part of Lakme Fashion Week since 2008 and Fashion Week in Goa since 2011. She was also invited to showcase her ‘Zero Waste’ collection at the Global Sustainable Fashion Week, Budapest, Hungary. The designer has been featured in Vogue as a ‘Promising Talent To Watch Out For’.
The designer began designing clothes in Hyderabad in the 1990s. She was the first Hyderabad designer to enter the Telugu film industry and is revered for styling celebrities including Nagarjuna, Balakrishna, Preity Zinta, Anjala Zaveri, Shriya, Mahesh Babu, Tabu, Asin, Charmy, and Anushka Shetty. Asmita’s sense of re-inventing fashion and style is a favourite of many.
“We believe in ‘Cradle-to-Cradle’ design or re-generative design which is holistic. We create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free,” says Asmita when asked about her fashion label. Asmita’s clothes are like a free-spirited and bohemian world traveller who believes in dreaming of a world that is without any boundaries. “There is nothing more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself, comfortable in her perfect imperfection… that is the true essence of beauty. This label celebrates wanderlust and the eternal traveller, bringing together various cultures and heritage art forms to tell a story, season after season,” adds Asmita.
For Asmita, sustainability is all about slow and timeless fashion. It is very close to her heart and one can clearly see it when she sits in her studio re-inventing and re-interpreting fashion over a few seasons. When asked about her sustainable collections and what new it has to offer, she smiles and says, “Sustainable fashion does not believe in churning out collection after collection making the consumers feel that they are outdated because they don’t have the latest pieces. It is about adding separates to continue the evolution of a concept or design language.”
Telling her Own Story
Check Asmita Marwa’s Instagram account and you would know what an avid traveller she is. Those trips through Europe and Myanmar are always a part of the fabric of her designs. “We designed a line of one-off jackets mindfully designed from different panels of upcycled fabrics. These jackets tell a story and when I was wearing them around Rome or wherever, I would get approached,” recalls the designer while talking about her trips. She also adds that she has made many friends around the world as a result. Her jackets are worn by people all across the world and in 2019 she looks forward to design more innovative designs such as Kalamkari designs sporting a trench-length but in the style of a kimono.
Asmita’s latest jackets are inspired by kimonos. In autumnal hues, these jackets can be paired with other separates from her collections. Talking about styling the jackets she says, “You can belt these up, pin them to the side or just have them undone,” Asmita points out, “and they’re ideal for a brunch, a dinner or a stay at a resort.” These jackets reflect Indian aesthetics with traditional notes such as mirrorwork and embroidery.
One of the dresses designed by her is an off-white dress made from a patchwork of reworked cotton khadi. It is clearly a chic bohemian outfit resonating traditional style with international buyers. When this dress was revealed on the ramp, it was paired with a dark blue poncho featuring a textured Bindu, which Asmita consistently uses in her design. “The bindu is a very powerful thing,” she starts, adding that the bindu is a central point of focus and origin of creative energy among other types of energy. The eye-catching bindu has been very popular with clients. “Since we literally do not let a single thread go to waste in our design process, the threads are placed in the bindu,” she adds.
Her new collection of jackets is inspired by tribes from around the world — Myanmar, Afghanistan, Gujarat and the Banjaras. “I have ensured that no two pieces are alike as I have used embroidered patchwork which adds to the beauty of the pieces. I picked up inspiration along the way as I travelled and for me, these jackets are no less than art,” says the designer.
Something for Everyone
Asmita’s designs are loved by people across the globe. “I have a client who’s aged upward of 80 and she’s wearing these designs fantastically,” she smiles, adding that various body types are able to rock her clothes too. “It’s not just for models, I’ve always encouraged both petite and fuller figures to wear these designs, and everyone who wears these designs shows off the garment in a special way and I love that.” She says that her collections are mostly inspired by meetings with real life gypsy women. “I had met a gypsy woman, and there was something charming about her. She had put together a look of gypsy clothes and accessories sourced from different countries. Something about her appealed to me and inspired me,” said Marwa.
The limited prêt collection has bindu motifs and tie-and-dye work at the centre. The designs transcend seasons, they are fluid and are light as feather. Her designs have been adding a hint of bohemian appeal to the kaftan-like dresses perfect for brunch or beaches. “The bindu or the circular symbol is an integral part of my design philosophy. I consider it quite powerful, like the beginning of the universe,” says Asmita while talking about her new collections “You can choose to belt these up, pin them where you wish or maybe wear knot it up,” adds the designer while signing off.