Plain Tiger Spotlight: Advait

Rainbows on the Red Carpet

By Renee Fortune

If you were as fortunate as I was as a child to discover the wondrous marvel that is a kaleidoscope, then you’ll understand the rapture of seeing one for the first time. If you allowed yourself to, you could get lost in the swirl of colour, caught up in the movement and dynamism of ribbons of rainbows. That’s what Advait reminds me of – clothing inspired by the kaleidoscope. 

Advait was launched in 2022 by Advaitha Ravishankar as a brand that would exist at the intersection of fine art and fashion. And when you browse the collection, you’ll realise that there is simply no better way to describe the trademark Advait aesthetic. It’s the kind of clothing that will make you want to take a step back and have a proper look, like you would at a gallery. In fact, you might be tempted to frame it. But resist any such temptation – Advait pieces are meant to be showcased, worn and celebrated. 

Ravishankar is an experienced textile print designer and colour specialist based in Mumbai, India. She holds a BA Honours degree in Fashion Textiles Print from the esteemed London College of Fashion. For her, the desire to ‘embody art in apparel’ is an unrelenting pursuit and something she has managed to bring to life within the sustainable fashion space, underpinning creativity with principled production methods and the promotion of fair trade.

Upon graduating, Advaitha knew that she did not want to enter the industry as a designer. Instead, she wanted to discover uncharted territory and make her mark as a fashion entrepreneur that would facilitate the process from design to production.

Starting a brand in the midst of a global pandemic was not something for the faint-hearted, but there was very little that could deter Advaitha from crafting her passion project into a fully-fledged fashion business. Using digital marketing and social media, Advaitha was able to build her community remotely by sparking conversation, generating hype and leveraging the upsurge in digital media consumption that was catalysed by COVID19. Today, Advait’s customers eagerly await new designs and collections, and are the kind of fashion shoppers that buy clothing to pass it on, or see it remade into something new in the future. 

Advait is distinctly worldy in its appeal. The prints for each garment are inspired by everyday items that ‘spark joy’ – vintage sewing machines, brass and silver cutlery from the turn of the century and objects that have unique histories. The stories of these keepsakes are expressed and conveyed through the lines, sweeps and splashes in each print, making for visually striking pieces of clothing.  

It’s a brand that you would just as easily see on the cobblestones of Belgium, as you would picture it on the catwalks of Milan. But, amidst this universality, you’ll see glimpses of its Indian heritage, but always with a cheeky design twist that brings a generous dose of creativity to convention. 

The Arch Saree, for example, boasts the flowing, curvaceous lines of the traditional Indian wear that the world has come to know and love. But pair it with the Arched Ruched Sleeve Top and you’ll have something completely unique – a saree with a bright, flowing pink border, complemented by the structure of a collar, and the playful ruched elements on the sleeves. Each outfit is red-carpet ready.

All the fabric used in the collection is hand painted using non-toxic ink and PCB-free dyes, which are not only a better choice for the environment but also a better choice for your skin. The textiles used include Lenzing Tencel; a sustainably produced material made from wood, Recycled Polyester and Handloom Cotton made by local weaving clusters. The end products are garments that are lightweight, breathable, vibrantly coloured and bursting with personality.

Many different words have been used to describe the Advait aesthetic. Some call it pop. Others call it indie. One fashion publisher even described Advaitha’s approach as a “menagerie of colour.”  

I like to sum it up as “retro – but make it rainbow.” 
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