Before COVID, the only type of fashion collaboration we saw within the apparel and accessory industry is that between a luxury designer house and high-street retailer. There was a time, when designer brands were hesitant to associate their name with a fast-fashion retailer in fear of diluting their esteemed image. Back in 2004, H&M launched its first designer collaboration with the legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld (RIP). Incidentally, the collection got sold out within minutes of the launch, setting a precedent. However, India and probably the sceptics of the world started looking at collaboration in a big way courtesy the Pandemic.
Making a strong point
Samyukta Nair’s Dandelion and Designer Param Sahib recently came together with an early addition to your 2021 statement wardrobe – Hurrah Hindustan, a collection of loungewear with heritage in sleep to kick start a much-awaited new year. At Dandelion, a new year is full of potential, a blank slate waiting to be filled with a manifestation of your dreams into reality. There’s a nip in the air and promises in every breath, and there couldn’t be a better time to drop the collaboration you didn’t know you were waiting for – Dandelion x Param Sahib.
This new year as you’re coasting through meetings, shaking off the holiday fog and painting your life anew, maximalist designer Param Sahib, known for expressing his creativity through his vibrant colours and bold prints, joins hands with Samyukta Nair’s bespoke sleepwear and lifestyle label, Dandelion to launch Hurrah Hindustan – an eclectic collection of loungewear with roots in sleep that sees pyjamas transition into daywear with ease.
At a time when the lines are blurred between social and personal, Hurrah Hindustan is an exploration of a new cultural paradigm that champions celebrating our intensely Indian roots where a brightly nostalgic print story from our collective memory meets contemporary styling and design. This coming together of an international sensibility and Indian dazzle takes place through a dandy representation of prints depicting India’s royalty, wildlife through the lens of a stamp collection, and love for celebration with bold beaded tassels in playful silhouettes of crossover co-ord sets, kimono style tops with ruffled shorts, tiered and maxi dresses and an asymmetrical jumpsuit in addition to classic sleepwear styles.
Sharing his thoughts about the collaboration, Param says, “I am an Indian bridalwear designer and partnering with Dandelion on this collection was an opportunity to bring my sensibilities to everyday fashion – making each day more exciting. The challenge was to create a collection that has the flamboyance of my busy nostalgic prints in bright pops of colour yet were in keeping with Dandelion’s relaxed approach of everyday living. The idea was to create eclectic prints across easy going silhouettes that just light up like a year full of excitement to come.”
He then goes on to add, “The original artwork created for this collection draws from our collective cultural heritage seen through a global lens. Hurrah Hindustan is made of 5 prints – the King of Hearts and, the Queen D of Dandelion (perfect for couples!), ‘A walk on the wild side’ that draws from an India stamp collection reminiscent of Christmas mail to mainland Britain, ‘Technicolour’ inspired by ladis and tassels and ‘The Elephant Whisperer’ that draws from the Indian elephant’s life across Royal processions, temple visits and leader of the jungle.”
Says Samyukta, “Hurrah Hindustan gives us the opportunity to look inwards, connect with our culture and revel in it, while maintaining an international rhythm with the rest of world. To someone like me who’s so proud to be Indian but considers oneself to be a global citizen, this balance and celebration of individualism is so incredibly key and has never been more important than now.”
Hurrah Hindustan is a confluence of comfort and dress-up – an International Indianism if you will, and the iconic coming together of festive and sleepwear to create a new language of loungewear and day dressing. If there is ever a time to indulge in statement loungewear, the year is 2021. Entirely handmade, all-cotton, and styled in distinctive prints, Samyukta Nair’s Dandelion is redefining loungewear in India with pieces that let you style down for a comfortable night’s sleep, or add pieces of styling for company. Hurrah Hindustan brings Dandelion’s signature notched collared pyjamas and shorts set alongside introducing a series of loungewear styles making 2021 the year to experiment with quirky classics a win!
Making it work
H&M has carried forward its collaborations and has been introducing a fresh collaboration each year. In the past it has worked with Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, Lanvin, Versace, Balmain and just recently it launched its latest collection with Kenzo. In a similar vein it also collaborated with celebrated designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee to launch a collection themed ‘Wanderlust’, which will present hand-crafted, eclectic travel pieces that will appeal to the modern global nomad wanting to add that ‘extra’ to their wardrobe.
Carrying forward the legacy of collaborations, celebrating the spirit of discovery, the Gucci and The North Face collaboration was brought to the market. A first for both brands this unique collaboration explores the deeper parallels between the two brands in equipping those who seek adventure, challenging the status quo and quests for self-expression. The resulting collection for men and women includes ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear and equipment. All pieces reveal a unified logo melding The North Face’s unmistakable Half Dome and Gucci’s Web stripe. Outerwear silhouettes and equipment are inspired by original designs from The North Face in the ’70s.
Brands are not choosy about category-specific collaborations, rather they want to crack the code for meaningful collaborations. Fizzy Goblet and Rahul Mishra, for instance came together twice to drop an exclusive capsule for the festive season. Fizzy Goblet’s Founder, Laksheeta Govil mentioned that this collaboration with Rahul Mishra whose eye for intricate detail is talked about all the way to Paris, is about to be the perfect transition between daily wear to festive wear.
The second capsule collection is designed with neutral bases to offset the vivid colours of Rahul’s signature 3D embroidery. Speaking about the collection, Laksheeta Govil says, “Working with Couturier Rahul Mishra on our second capsule collection has been an absolute pleasure. This time around we got to further explore the synergies of nature together and how our artisans are the mediators that translate nature into accessories.” Their designs are a testament to the Vocal for Local initiative that Rahul and Laksheeta both advocate. Each pair of juttis is handcrafted by local artisans and takes about 90 hours per pair.
These unique collaborations signal at the fashion fraternity getting confident in their own skin and today each one is trying their best to pull up the socks and support one another. It is the right time to shoulder each other’s burden and grow together. Pandemic has taught this bit to the fraternity quite well and from smaller brands to the bigger retail names, all are eyeing collaborations to grow.