Kartik Research Fall-Winter 2024 COLLECTION
KARTIK RESEARCH PRESENTS AW24 COLLECTION AS PART OF PARIS FASHION WEEK
Over the past two and a half years of Kartik Research, what has become increasingly apparent to founder Kartik Kumra is the balance between the two Indias. On one hand, you have the romantic fantasyland that the brand has continuously leaned into, shooting look books in homes that havent been renovated from the British Raj or palaces from before this time, full of vintage cane furniture, Goan tiles and Naga tables. It contextualises the brand through a sense of Indo- Nostalgia. Its escapist; the type of India you wish still existed.
Through globalisation and a societal mindset, that replicating the West is the way forward, these two versions of India have become extremely polarised. Through Kartik Research however, the two different ideas can be merged, the clothes can reflect the strange fractured dialogue. Theres an emotional connection to the aesthetic utopia of the past and a sense of optimism when looking at Indias future. This conversation can be a generative idea rather than a backward one.
This season the look book was shot at a sandstone mine in Jodhpur, a city Kumra believes is stuck in a different era. Outside the city there are a bunch of mines, over the years, the carving away of the sandstone mountains has created unreal faces, an interesting visual for the friction the brand is trying to express.
The AW24 collection features pieces from the upcoming collaboration with iconic British clothing brand, Baracuta. Kumra takes the classic Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket, using quilted fabrics and has developed Baracutas signature checked lining on handloom. There are trompeleoil embroidered garlands made from wool. Kumra worked with artisans from Karnataka who specialise in Kasuti embroidery to create line art inspired by geometric tiles on specific tailoring pieces as well as developing a hand-block printed woollen fabric. Every piece has some sort of hand processing and has been made in collaboration with some of Indias best artisans.
Despite the name change this season, the core brand values remain, celebrating and supporting Indian craftsmanship and the brands commitment to sustainability remains consistent.
All the woven fabrics in the collection are crafted on handlooms, where no electricity is required in the fabric production process. The brand continues to work with communities in Himachal Pradesh such as the Charkha Foundation to develop woolens. Over half the dyes in the collection were done naturally, reducing the chemical residue and over twenty of the collection is upcycled from vintage Kantha quilts and denim and all the knitwear is made by a community of women in Almora, Uttarakhand where the yarn is sourced locally and dyed naturally. Kartik Kumra supports over 150 artisans around India and will continue to do so, highlighting their incredible craftsmanship and supporting them economically.
About Kartik Research:
Founded by Kartik Kumra in 2021, Kartik Research is an artisanal fashion brand based in New Delhi, India. The core tenet of Kartik Research is to reintroduce humanness into clothing. Each item of clothing has some handmade element to it. The shirting and quilts are produced on handlooms and dyed with plants and herbs and the embroideries are done by hand. As a result, each piece that is produced has its own unique nature, embracing its imperfect character.
Each season the brand visits a subculture from Indias heritage. Our debut collection explored the aesthetics of the Beat Music scene that emerged from 1960s psychedelic rocks fascination with India. Later collections have gone on to answer questions about the aesthetics of aspiration. Why do we aspire to own certain things? In a banana fibre weaving village we work with in Karnataka, jewellery and home ornamentation is made from crocheting banana fibre. Is this a function of just being resourceful or is the communitys value compass oriented towards their own heritage? This is a microcosm of the wider question Kartik Research aims to solve by putting forgotten Indian crafts back on the global.
Photo: Press Kartik Research
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