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Japanese global apparel retailer UNIQLO is all set to hit the Indian market this October, and to make the launch even more noteworthy, it has announced its collaboration with Indian designer Rina Singh of label Eka. Staying loyal to the ethos of UNIQLO Lifewear, Singh has created a limited edition ‘Kurta Collection’, inspired by the everyday wear of women in India.

Image: Courtesy UNIQLO

The collection consists of four categories – tunics, dresses, pants, and stoles, though kurtas and contemporary versions of it remain the hero pieces in the line. “Kurta is a signature Indian silhouette and it’s democratically worn throughout India,” says Singh. “It is extremely versatile, can be made in any fabric, and there is always room for experimentation with it.”

Image: Courtesy UNIQLO

The UNIQLO x Rina Singh collaboration showcases the levels of treatment the fabrics have gone through. All separates have been crafted in premium linen, 100 percent cotton, and a specially-created rayon fabric jointly crafted by UNIQLO and Toray Industries, to make daily care even easier. “Rayon is a great fabric. It’s versatile and drapes beautifully, but it gets difficult to maintain. Rayon from Toray is extremely advanced and it’s wrinkle-free,” informs Singh.

Image: Courtesy UNIQLO

We got a close look at the collection and it is the thoughtfulness of colours that struck us at first go – inspired by the Indian spice route, the colour palette comprises of earthy combinations of charcoal, indigo, mustard, and red. Nothing too imposing, which works perfectly with the pared down, tasteful aesthetics. Singh’s version of Kurta 2.0 for the collection reimagines the silhouette in a new light – there are slide slits for pockets and larger yokes have been used without button necklines to give the wearer a sense of comfort. The pieces boast of contrast binding with neat stitches running along seams and tucks. Among the lineup, the polka dress juxtaposed with twill checks developed through handwoven yarn dye stands out. Besides that, there are block prints too.

Image: Courtesy UNIQLO

One might wonder what brought UNIQLO, a label popular for its uber-cool, ready-to-wear pieces, and Rina Singh, known for her breezy, uncomplicated, relatable design, together? “Rina does not chase short term brands. She has revolutionised the way Indian women wear clothes,” says Tomohiko Sei, CEO, UNIQLO India. “There is history in what she creates, and has contemporised the way Indian women dress. These are qualities that align with our ethos as well. UNIQLO is committed to creating perfect clothing that makes everyday life more comfortable, convenient, and with a practical sense of beauty.”

This collection will also be available in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as part of UNIQLO’s FW 2019 offering. It will be available in India at the UNIQLO store when it opens next month.

The collection is priced between Rs 1,290 and Rs 3,990.

All images: Courtesy brand

Anupam Dabral
Sr. Associate Editor
It was while studying fashion journalism at London College of Fashion that Anupam developed a keen interest in the anthropological aspect of the discipline; for him, fashion only makes sense when seen in the context of its environment. He is always on the hunt for great stories, and in his spare time binge-watches films/shows starring Whoopi Goldberg, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.