A sneak peek at a unique line of childrenswear that blends traditional Indian silhouettes with Western styling.
Aruna Hatti calls herself the Maharani of Possibilities – a magical moniker for the talented, creative mind behind Gnaana, her successful project that offers engaging toys and more to educate young children about South Asian cultures, languages and history. “Whether they are listening to a gush of water or evaluating the squishability of peas, children are learning from what is around them,” she says –so true to the nature of a child’s life.
Now, Aruna is collaborating with New Delhi fashion designer Moutushi Sarkar on Rayil, a new division of her U.S.-based Gnaana Company, LLC. In the spirit of knowledge and learning –the meaning of the Sanskrit word, gnaana- Rayil’s designs use traditional Indian textiles complemented by subtle details and clean lines.
The pureness of the natural fabrics and the tradition of the techniques make this a timeless collection. Along with the beauty and high quality of the textiles, we are careful to provide practicality through silks and cottons that can withstand multiple washings and wear.
Great Value. Versatility is a key aspect of this collection, which includes many pieces offered in both silk or cotton, and can be mixed and matched for dressy and everyday looks. Moutushi Sarkar, a graduate of India’s prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology, specializes in experimenting with innovative silhouettes. She has designed for such global brands as Urban Outfitters, Rene Derhy and Derhy-Kids, Miss Selfridge and Esprit.
Bridging East and West. More than 300 types of fabrics are available in India alone, and each season, the designs for Rayil -which means train in the Tamil language- travel throughout the continent, drawing inspiration from local fabrics and techniques found there. For instance, the Spring ’13 collection features Benarasi silk from the Benaras region in Uttar Pradesh, Chanderi silk from the Chanderi region in Madhya Pradesh, Karishma cotton from Tamil Nadu as well as cotton Khadi, a fabric popularized by Gandhi.
Coming Soon. Rayil’s silhouettes lend a contemporary Western spin on traditional Indian styles, bridging East and West. For girls, you’ll find scalloped-edge circle skirts; sweeping, layered maxi skirts; paper bag-waist woven leggings; delicately trimmed wrap tops; pin-tucked tank tops; and draped A-line and pleated tunic-style dresses. Decorative accessories like ombré scarves and pompom stoles and reversible capes are ladylike toppers. For boys, these exquisite fabrics are used on easy-to-wear tunics and pants.
Available in sizes 2-8, each piece is carefully constructed to provide visual interest through texture, color and print mixing.
Thank you, Caletha Crawford, for introducing me to Rayil – and to Gnaana!