Yes, some of her most recognisable images may have been in custom Elie Saab, Ralph & Russo, and Armani but Sonam Kapoor has not shied away from wearing outfits from under the radar designers with a strong narrative either. A sworn fashion lover, Kapoor has used her celebrity power to shine the spotlight on some great labels and here are five cool ones she has introduced us to in the last few months. We love them, and here’s why you should too.
For most South Asian diaspora, insignias of Indian fashion rooted in tradition become a way of being tied to their culture. And this is what drove Priyanka Kaul to launch her label Badaam in 2017. Growing up in Sydney allowed her to explore different communities and their aesthetics, but her search for something relatable and satisfying continued. She got answers through her label, which thrives on creating pieces that have an underlying Indian essence but a global appeal. Think a green slouchy shirt paired with a handwoven short saree (recently worn by Kapoor), a khadi shirtdress or a pair of trousers in handwoven cotton. These are pieces Kaul has created to convey how multiculturalism has influenced her. Her designs also reflect the zeitgeist – her gender-neutral, Facing Society shirt, featuring digitally printed faces, is hand-dyed and made in light-weight handwoven cotton. Her recent Dhyaan series explores the idea of nature and nurture, and how urban spaces impact mental health and well-being.
Launched in 2002 by London-based fashion stylist Maia Norman and designer Sue Foulston, Mother of Pearl is known for its distinctive prints, masculine silhouettes, and luxurious finishes. Amy Powney was appointed creative director in 2016, and since then has completely redefined the brand with her fresh ideas. Powney’s creative stroke is all athleticism infused with whimsical prints – from beautiful floral shirts, leopard print overcoats, and denims, to turtlenecks, statement footwear, and even interiors, there is nothing which is beyond the label’s canvas. Sustainability is at its heart centre – the brand employs organic natural materials, works with a transparent supply chain, and ensures a low carbon footprint. It even has a specific ‘No Frills’ line, which only focuses on sustainable production. Recently at London Fashion Week, the brand collaborated with BBC Earth to deliver a series of talks, raising awareness about different aspects of sustainability.
Growing up in Tbilisi, London, and Moscow gave Kvitsiani a global perspective on art and design. Dalood started off as a boutique by Kvitsiani’s mother in Moscow; it gained a cult status giving young designers a platform to showcase their craftsmanship. However, it was in 2014 when Kvitsiani decided to launch her own womenswear label under Dalood; the idea was to gain full creative and qualitative control of pieces being created. With every cut and silhouette reminiscent of the 80s, Kvitsiani’s first collection for the brand was inspired by supermodel Kate Moss. Characterised by oversized tailored coats, broad-shouldered suits, trousers, and embellished denims, Kapoor wore a blue blazer and an asymmetric crinkled skirt from the brand, and more recently, Kendall Jenner picked up their pantsuit.
This Spain-based label explores haute couture through its simple yet luxurious wedding gowns and dresses. Led by creative director Sofía Arribas, who brings her experience in architecture into play, the brand is defined by sculptural and uniquely tailored pieces. Imagine tulle pleated to form a column, a gown wrapped and cinched at the waist with geometric and floral prints, and an array of experiments with unconventional colourways.
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On the lookout for old Hollywood glamour? Stop at this couture label. Launched by Philippe Perissé, who grew up watching iconic Hollywood dramas and honed his skills at the prestigious Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, the brand is defined by structural finesse and almost couture-like detailing. From quirky playsuits and metallic puffers, to capes and cocktail dresses, Perissé, who has worked Jean-Louis Scherrer Haute Couture and John Galliano, promises an assortment of sartorial finery.