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Timeless Cuts In Indigenous Fabrics Personify The Summer House

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A label that doesn’t follow trends but simply creates beautiful aesthetics in their clothes, The Summer House’s new ‘Non-Festive Edit’ is probably the epitome of minimalistic fashion with an edgy, off-beat touch. By creating a festive collection without using the obvious, it features a lot of handwoven khadi, luxurious organic cottons, lush silks, and tencel cut with designs that make them timeless pieces, malleable to fit any occasion. The label is run by Creative Head Shivangini Padhiyar and Operations Head Rekha Datla. Shivangini takes us through their journey and tells us what sets this fashion brand apart.

What is the history behind your brand The Summer House?

When you move from a small town to a big city and life becomes a blur of activities, you start missing the simplicity and celebration, awareness actually, of everyday life. We say this often but it’s true — The Summer House was born from nostalgia. It was when we missed the purity in our food, the comfort in our clothes, and the sturdiness in the wares we bought, that we started noticing that there are more people like us who crave these little joys of simplicity and functionality that we’ve known of/heard of through our moms and grandmothers.

I had already quit advertising to fulfill the dream to start a brand based on beautiful, functional, and sustainable design (or at least give it a shot) and had been travelling across the country for over a year with my then 9-month-old daughter. I spent time with craftsmen and studied responsible techniques. By pure chance, Rekha and I met in 2014 for a completely unrelated project. But as they say, some things are meant to be. We instantly trusted each other and became partners in work. For us, The Summer House is both a memory of how things were and a plan for how we want life to be.

What sets it apart from the others?

To be honest, there are now a lot of brands like us doing amazing work, attempting to build a business without compromising on their values and processes. We think the biggest differentiation is value. What we repeatedly heard from our customers is that we have top-of-the-line quality at a price that seems sensible. This is possible because we have a 100% mark up and a no ‘sale’ policy (vis-a-vis the 300% to 400% mark up that is a norm in the fashion industry) that allows us to do this. Another has to be the aesthetic. We are not bohemian, indie, folksy, indo-fusion or any such thing that many other Indian brands get slotted under. We are an Indian brand that uses local processes to create slick, modern, intelligent pieces.

What is the Non Festive Edit all about, and how does it stand out?

As you know, our designs are not based on trends. So we wanted to create pieces that encapsulate the mood of the festive season, but have the longevity of timeless styles. The new collection, the Non Festive Edit, features luxurious, fine-count handwoven khadi, luxurious organic cottons, lush silks, and tencel cut into silhouettes that can be easily worn for festive parties, vacations, and also for years to come. The fact that it is not catering to only to the Diwali sensibilities makes it stand out from others.

Any favourite key pieces from The Non Festive Edit? How can they be styled?

The Dama Dress — It’s an easy silhouette in pure silk with a modern, graphic print that is hand block-printed. Kimono sleeves and front slits lend it an aura of timelessness.
Favourite way of styling it: With classic black keds and lots of mini chain bracelets for a day out. With old-fashioned black stilettos and dull-gold ear-hoops for a night out. It’s one of those pieces that allows you to stay understated, yet make a statement.

The Izumo Skirt — This origami fold-inspired skirt is an absolute favourite, we’ve yet to find one person who hasn’t loved it. A great way of styling it would be with a hand-marbled silk shirt (from an earlier collection called The Alternate), white Kolhapuri sandals from The Sole Sisters, and a smart watch.

Scroll down to find our fave picks from the Non Festive Edit!



ALICE (Rs 6,000)



JACKIE  (Rs 3,000)



DAMA (Rs 6,500)



ABBOT (Rs 2,200)



LAUPER (Rs 3,000)



NOAH (Rs 3,500)



SUE (Rs 2,500)



IZUMO (Rs 2,500)



PURO (Rs 4,000)



CAYENNE (Rs 2,500)


Tiny but fierce, our Fashion & Beauty Writer grooves to her own soundtrack. An animal lover at heart, she plays proxy mommy to pretty much all the strays she meets.

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