Interview: Indigene by Jaya and Ruchi


A team of designers, Jaya and Ruchi conceived Indigene after several years of practice and research on arts and crafts, and are now bringing to the fore living traditions of costume and embellishments.

A design company started in 2010, Indigene collaborates with some of the finest artisans in several geographies, infusing their unmatched craft techniques in product development, reviving the simplicity and elegance of traditional clothing, to create accented handmade couture.

Fresh off the Lakme Fashion Week runway, Indigene by Jaya and Ruchi displayed their wonderful Transcience collection S/R 2016 in Bombay. The setting was beautiful with dim yellow lighting to illuminate the designs, which were placed aesthetically by color. A table with handcrafted jewelry welcomed you as you walked in, with garments hanging from the ceiling, chandelier style. The fabrics (all hand woven) were light weight- perfect for the summer. The Ajrakh block print, inspired by Gurunsi architecture and Burkina Faso in Africa was geometric and elegant.  The silhouettes were inspired by wabi sabi (Japanese rubric) and were simple yet caught your eye because of the interesting mix of straight and drape-y.

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In a candid interview with them while sifting through their lovely products, here’s what the dynamic designer duo had to reveal to Ruchika-

Why did you choose to do Ajrakh block printing?

We’ve been in contact with the block printing artisans for a long time, personally worked with them and we want to continue with the same people because there is a good understanding with them.

 Do you think the Indian market is open to things like the wabi-sabi aesthetic, it being really simple and basic?

Definitely, a part of the population is. More and more people are now going in for simpler things.

 Do the artisans accept new designs?

The design should be feasible, then yes. A lot of times our original designs have changed, and they evolve into something totally different.  

There are so many inspirations to this line. How easy/difficult was it to combine such far of elements?

Simple, considering Ajrakh has always had geometric motifs, so we stuck to that.

Colours chosen?

Cream, red, blue and olive green-brown. 

And finally, a message to future designers?

 Follow what you believe in or you won’t be happy.

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The two designers were wearing their own simple designs and looked fantastic. The line is elegant, simple- one can imagine a dancer or stage actor wearing the clothes outside of work. The handblock is precise and beautiful. The garments themselves are worth the price because  of their handcrafted precision. Many pieces have body flattering silhouettes that cinch at the waist and gather out. A few key pieces we spotted were the knee-length dresses that work as jackets and kurtas as well, and the pleated well tailored trousers that have the most casual appeal.

What we loved– Loose fitted pants that are celebrity – worthy, and not at all pajama-type.
A few pieces from their collection are seen below!

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