Ratnagarbha: The Repository

Indira Varma

As a fashion designer, Indira is passionate about environmental sustainability and community building. Her design process is anchored in two pillars: placing nature central in all design decisions, and supporting community craft practices within the sphere of cultural sustainability. She is inspired by history, artifacts and natural ecosystems. Her current research is focused on natural dyes, block printing and fashion ecology.

Ratnagarbha: The Repository is a Spring/Summer 2023 Womenswear capsule collection that is inspired by the ways of living of Indian royalty. The Sanskrit word, meaning repository of jewels, is an epithet of the earth: the one that bears every single thing we see around us.

This project is a universal nod to the countless jewels that go into making fashion products - the art, culture, techniques, materials and wisdom; and the people and their local traditions and history - the tangible and intangible. And the inspiration for this collection comes from the old-world charm and grandeur of Jaipur’s palaces, stunning creations balanced with sophistication and simplicity, as well as the city’s textiles and art.

At the core of this collection, every garment stands for something meaningful that comes from the earth and goes back to it, reflecting the symbolism and meaning of the collection’s title. The material choices are governed by the principle of biodegradability and chemical free dyeing processes. Indira Varma worked with Tharangini Studio, a community-based heritage textile studio in India that has innovated organic water-based printing pigments inspired by the natural dye practices for block printing.

This project challenges the current fashion system to change into one that emphasizes the new requirements of a global society - sustainable systems, planet regeneration and community wellbeing.

Inspired by Indian royalty and anchored in cultural sustainability, this collection presents a contemporary voice of enigmatic old-world charm

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