Bangalore: If one took inspiration from industrial junk and organic life, another used designs to depict ancient India's contribution to the world in various fields - 11 young and budding designers impressed industry experts here as part of the Myntra Fashion Incubator (MFI) programme.
Young, confident and raring to go, the finalists of the programme, which offers them necessary design and work infrastructure, capital support and mentorship from a team of acclaimed designers, stood out for their out-of-the box thinking, "smart" and "creative" brand names and unique inspirations.
For brand Metallurgy, Advaeita Mathur took inspiration from the industrial junk and organic life. The principle behind the brand is to balance futuristic designs and technology along with its craftsmanship while allowing one to take inspiration from natural surroundings. The creations comprise smart neckpieces and hand accessories.
"Minimalism and austerity" are the core strength of the brand, said Mathur, who was among the favourites of the jury in the final round of the MFI, which is e-commerce website Myntra's one-year programme via which it will train and support 11 new faces under its first batch of Designer In Residence (DIR) platform.
The students will be part of the first incubator programme and will occupy the design space inside the Myntra campus by Jan 15, 2015 to work full-time on their brand.
Apart from Mathur, the finalists in the MFI program include The Lokal South Kallection by Darshana Sukumar, Ek Karkhana by Preeti Wanchoo, Picnic by Harleen Kaur, ex.pression.ist n by Mohammed Javed Khan, Tortus by Raghav Sethi, ASA by Shreya Oza, The Ink Bucket by Vidhi Khandelwal, Vaishvik by Rajesh Maratha, Anwar Khan by Anwar Khan and MAD on FAD by Priyanka Kumar.
The Lokal South Kallection by Sukumar impressed the judges, especially Wendell Rodricks, who not only expressed his interest towards the smart play of prints and colours, but also offered personal mentorship to young designer in future. The USP of Sukumar's brand is an amalgamation of aesthetic clean lines and modern designs with fun and quirky colour bursts of prints on dresses and separates.
"The Lokal South Kallection mixes catwalk inspiration with the culture of Kerala detailing for a truly unique style. Each print and each garment holds on to a character from the local south family," said the designer while briefing the judges about the brand.
Picnic by Kaur too grabbed eyeballs for presenting a collection that focuses on the "innocence of childhood", while Javed Khan's brand ex.pression.ist n takes inspiration from "expressions", with clothes that are simple, artistic, vintage and genderless and this is what the judges liked about the brand.
"The brand finds inspiration and comfort from old treasures and celebrates aged, decayed and time-worn imperfections. Garments are cut to fit in certain mood and brings out the individuality in a person," said Javed Khan, who plans to foray into the lifestyle space in days to come.
The Ink Bucket by Khandelwal took points for its unique handcrafted appeal on funky handbags, while brand Anwar Khan by Khan appealed many for giving an option of affordable designer clothing to the Indians as the designer feels that "Indians today are more attracted towards designer wear but can't afford them."
The highpoint was Rajesh Maratha's Vaishvik designs.
"Vaishvik is a lifestyle brand showcasing ancient India's contribution to the world in various fields such as science, management, war, dynasties, spirituality and mythology," said the designer, who used some lines by Indian philosopher Chanakya on t-shirts.
An engineer by profession, he aims to spread awareness about the specific contributions of ancient India to the world and to preserve its legacy with his brand and his efforts got appreciation from judges too.
Rodricks apart, the jurors included designers like Rina Dhaka, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna to industry officials like Anant Daga, CEO, TCNS Clothing company, Sandeep Mukim, CEO, Proline India Ltd, and Simeran Bhasin, CMO, Wildcraft.
They had a common message for the budding talent: "Your brands have a huge scope in the market. So, stay focussed."