Karishma Shahani Khan was not exactly on my radar two months back ... In all honesty, operating out of the Delhi means that one misses out on designers showing in Mumbai or other cities ... As an accredited blogger with the Fashion Design Council of India, our haunts have been the Fashion and Couture Weeks in the capital ... But we have been following our Prime Minister's call for a return to our sartorial roots with the Reinvent Banaras campaign this season across all fashion weeks in the country ... and although the label KaSha by Karishma Shahani Khan has been around for a few years, it was only during this recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, that we sat up and took notice of Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan's collection,  Chavi AW15 !! ... Khan’s label ‘Ka:Sha’ was found in 2011 post her graduation from the London College of Fashion, United Kingdom .... and focuses on design as a form of storytelling .... The philosophy of her products lies in visualizing design as a celebration with an aim to ‘Think global, act local’ ... Glocal in short :) ... The label is influenced by the multi layer sensibility of Indian Fashion .... given the size of our nation ..... with a clear demarcation not only of topography ....  but also different cultural ecosystems with their own weaves, textile heritage and sartorial choices !! ... Creating individuality in this world striving for identity is a quest for Kasha ... and this is reflected quite aptly in the street style layering of Indian elements in her Autumn Winter collection "Chavi" which means "image" or a "persona" .... A picture of an Indian woman just like us .... who straddles our Glocal ambiguity quite comfortably .... without heeding any stereotyped notions of how a modern Indian should dress or be :)


Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15
Ka:Sha - Weaving sustainable stories in fashion



Ka:Sha by Karishma Shahani Khan



After a bunch of phone-calls for discussions about this article ... when we received the first mail from team Ka:Sha ... the mail signature read – “PLEASE PRINT ONLY IF NECESSARY. THINK GREEN” .... That somehow sums up Karishma’s all-embracing philosophy in design ... Its simple, its pure and there is an honest effort at making a difference .... Never an attempt at trying to be something or following the typical norms of fashion trends !! .... You will find an endearing quality of storytelling in each of her creations, which reflects an original identity .... Featured in an array of international and domestic publications .... Khan has recently gained herself a fair share of attention both from fashion enthusiasts and the media .... But what has upheld her uniqueness is her narrative where every ensemble has an individual inspiration .... Her regular showcase at Lakme Fashion Week with seasonal collections .... has got her notable awards and nominations .... for its focus towards sustainability .... Yet every time you see her clothes .... you get to observe a novel approach to details .... which create a perfect balance between fashion trends and her cause of green fashion.

Talking about her brand identity and vision .... Karishma shares,  “We focus on merging art with sustainability, our label strives to follow fair trade practices, procure quality produce and adheres to a strict zero-waste policy.” .... No wonder she takes pride in her venture .... After all, how many new Indian designers can you recall who keep in check their ethical waste policies ..... leave alone imbibing sustainable fashion as a way of life?


Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15



Chavi AW15


Watching her show unfold was somehow reminiscent of the paradox that has always been a constant in Karishma's creations .... What we saw was an incarnation of contrasting perspectives .... It gave an impression of Royalty in the most effortless way possible .... The first few looks may take you back to her previous works .... with the trademark play of fabrics .... and those massive streams of tassels .... but there was a lot more to applaud this season !! .... With a vision to merge the gap between foreign and local ... she was inspired by Indian Aristocrats and Feudal lords.

“I wanted to create a shift in these perspectives that form stereotypes on which the society builds one’s identity and image.” says Khan. “Perception is defined as an act of understanding, based on one’s own sensory processes and thrives predominantly on moral beliefs and physical experiences of the viewer. With the multiple influences I’ve had through life and globalization, I’ve witnessed multiple perspectives that deconstruct typecasts and rebuild images in contemporary culture. – My motive was to bring forth those personalities.”


The bohemian vibes her clothes reflect ... have a certain freedom to them .... They are extravagantly layered .... paired in multiple shades .... and display a nomads idiom .... And this season .... the wanderer in her chose to travel back in time .... A distinctly unique approach in her thought process ..... she takes us through her journey and very well succeeded, in achieving those deconstruction of emotions .... When we saw the first look arriving at the runway ... you could almost feel the elements of her design vocabulary in that opening ensemble ... A soft pink tasseled scarf .... tie-dyed in green hints .... over a sky blue floral buti jacket ... which was layered over a navy blue tunic .... above a gold chanderi skirt !! ....  Oh! And not to miss those custom made brogues in hand dyed cotton with pom-poms & tufted laces :) .... Unafraid of bringing forth her individuality through her particular brand of storytelling .... she happens to revisit a long forgotten era .... picking up ancient images of Indian emperors dating back to the 19th century .... bursting with a slew of portraits of Maharajas, Maharanis, Political Prisoners and Victorian consorts !! ... She tells what motivated her to groom such characters into a sartorial output,

“These images reflect individualistic points of view of perceived notions, to showcase in some cases masculinity, equality, adaptability, feminism and modernism, in ways both functional and aesthetic. This contradiction of modern yet Indian in its core has fascinated me to present Chavi AW15”


The strength of the collection was definitely its ease .... The seemingly well-paired combination of colors, textures and silhouettes .... made a quiet statement with understated luxury ..... Using gold zari for the first time with her staple Stripes and Polkas .... she layered geometric floral patterns to create a 2D and 3D dimension .... An array of fabric manipulation methods .... namely pleating and smocking gave depth to the layers .... The use of age-old techniques such as .... tie-dye on silks and Cottons .... also highlighted her refined craft ....  Elaborating on her choice of techniques she throws light on the collection,

“The surface ornamentation techniques create structure and ornamentation in the silhouette, adapting from the inspiration of clothing styles that are severely stereotyped through gender, class and culture, each layer conceals or showcases multiple perspective points.”


The color palate was an integration of her signature earthy shades .... clubbed with rich Reds, Emeralds and Blues .... What also added to the sophistication were the pastel variants of the colors ....  interspersed as an added touch ....  She brings an easy charm with her delicate details that has made her designer to look forward to each season .... Her relaxed blend of East with West ... and the unmatched love for the revival of forgotten heritage .... put her in the top position in Vogue India Fashion Fund, as a finalist last year ... Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Chavi AW15 !


Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15

Kasha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15
Ka:Sha by Karishma Shahani Khan Chavi AW15



In an industry where unwanted garments are tossed into clothing bins .... and have traditionally faced an ignominious future as filler material for insulation .... or stuffing for toys .... designers like Karishma .... are giving our old clothes a second chance and almost a new life .... through her multi layered commitment to sustainable fashion ... She has worked on various projects and initiatives .... that focus on design, sustainability and education in the field of fashion .... spanning projects on employment generation, women empowerment, skill development, garment production and retail.

Today there are over 7.3 billion people on this planet ... 7 billion ! .... If each person owned only one pair of pants, one shirt, and one jacket ..... that would be 21 billion articles of clothing .... That’s a lot of clothes! ..... And it’s safe to assume that many of us own more than three items of apparel .... Considering the number of people on the planet ... and clothes being one of our three basic needs .... the figures around the textile and fashion productions are nothing less than shocking .... The number of textile thrown away each year is a staggering 2 million tons ... Just a wrong color of dye lends to millions of tons of waste fabrics at Chinese mills !! .... We need to nurture our resources and relook at our role as a designer and consumer .... And Karishma Shahani Khan is one young designer with exceptional commitment to the world we live in :)

Facebook : Ka:Sha by Karishma Shahani Khan

Karishma Shahani Khan interviewed by Karan Torani for Delhi Style Blog
Text : Karan Torani and Dimpy Kapur
Photographs : Team KaSha
Post Production : DSB

Until next time xx



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