a glimmer of hope – The New Indian Express

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For just over a decade, Jade by Monica and Karishma has been synonymous with contemporary Indian bridal fashion. And its parent company, Chanakya International, an export brand that has partnered with names like Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo, has been in business for nearly 40 years.

Now, Karishma Swali, one of half the designer duo, joins the company’s repertoire with a new label – Moon Ray – that moves away from the heavy embellishments and ornate silhouettes of its sister brand, and embraces a more contemporary and comparatively minimalist aesthetic.

Conceived and created in collaboration with Karishma’s 14-year-old daughter Avantika, the label has been described as eclectic, timeless, unconventional and conscious in more ways than one. About 50 percent of their profits go to nonprofit organizations dedicated to child education and animal welfare.

“I love art and I think art is a powerful catalyst for a better future. It all started in 2020 when my doodles morphed into more purposeful illustrations and expressions of universal love and compassion. My mother and I dreamed of creative expressions rooted in craftsmanship excellence through a conscious clothing line for an ever-evolving community,” says Avantika.

Featuring a comprehensive collection of vegan leather clothing, bags and shoes, as well as 22k gold-plated jewellery, the debut collection draws on a wide range of crafting traditions, including macrame, crochet, appliqué, hand-painting and tie-dyeing techniques. While the leather is cruelty free and vegan, the fabrics they work with are organic cotton, GOTS certified jersey, raw denim, recycled threads and industrial surplus.

Avantika’s fun and whimsical illustrations can be seen in pieces like the Floating Mee t-shirts and Connected By Love t-shirts, while other pieces like the Caista dress and Jenny crochet top are examples of their focus on artisanry. In addition to midi dresses with embroidered yolks and t-shirts with unique illustrations, their site also offers jumpsuits, denim skirts and shorts, bomber jackets, coats, and relaxed-fit pants.

There’s also a made-to-order section that puts the spotlight on the signature ‘Ray’ embroidery. “Handcrafted using classic lace techniques and crafted from organic ribbons and microbeads, this embroidery is a modern take on Renaissance needlepoint techniques that require masterful skill due to its delicate thread processing,” explains Karishma, adding, “Conscious fashion means treading carefully . It’s important to stay true to yourself and build community through meaningful collaboration. We aim to create collections that are futuristic but guided by the wisdom that preserves the past through our cultural and craft heritage.”

Rs 750 upwards

Available online

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