Persian excellence takes centre stage as Ashdeen and Good Earth come together for a one-of-a-kind limited-edition capsule collection that takes inspiration from Persia’s famous seven-coloured decorative tiles. Known for his ground-breaking work in reviving Parsi Gara work and giving his cultural heritage a public platform through his self-titled label, Ashdeen’s new collaboration with Good Earth is titled “Haft Rang”, and features a line of saris, jackets, kurtas, stoles, scarves, and bags in a vibrant colour palette that is a treat for the eyes. We sat down with the designer to take a deep dive into the inspiration behind the collection.
GRAZIA: Tell us about the inspiration behind Haft Rang.
ASHDEEN LILAOWALA: For the Haft Rang collection we’ve created in collaboration with Good Earth, we were inspired by the Persian Haft Rang or seven-coloured tiles. The glazed tiles, typically decorated with motifs of plants, flowers, birds, people and calligraphy, came into prominence in the 15th century during present-day Iran’s Timurid and Safavid dynasties.
G: How did the collaboration with Good Earth come about?
AL: We have been retailing select pieces with Good Earth for several seasons. So, a creative collaboration felt like a natural next step. We wanted to find a way to bring together our specific Parsi Gara hand embroidery with Good Earth’s beautiful aesthetic. This exclusively designed collection for the brand by us delivers on all those parameters. It’s a departure from our signature style, but it has been such a rewarding exploration.
G: Could you take us through the design elements of the collection?
AL: We’ve worked on hand-embroidered saris, which is our forte. In addition, we also have jackets, stoles, scarves and accessories like potli bags, clutch bags and a new twisted knot bag. Our signature bird and skilful rendering of florals come alive in the Haft Rang colour palette.
G: With revivalism of age-old embroideries at the forefront of the industry, do you see Parsi Gara work making a comeback any time soon?
AL: There’s a renewed interest in traditional textiles and techniques among consumers, and designers like me, who are primarily textile designers and researchers, are more than happy to service this trend. There’s been a particular interest in the hand-made craft of Parsi Gara embroidery from textile enthusiasts from the Parsi community and many people from outside the community. Social media has allowed us to educate and engage customers on our traditional textiles, karigars, and how long something takes and its intrinsic value. I am thrilled to be living and creating these exciting times.
G: How do you see gara work fitting into the current fashion landscape?
AL: We have extended the application of this technique to clothing like lehengas, salwar suits, jackets, dupattas and stoles and accessories like purses and potlis. Even with saris, we try to adapt them to the tastes of the modern consumer, keeping them lightweight and mindful of colour preferences. We also do this through styling explored through campaign imagery, shoots, and collaborations with style makers and influencers.
The limited edition capsule collection will retail from Good Raghuvanshi Mills in Mumbai from 18th August 2023.