Plain Tiger Spotlight: Studio RIGU

For the Sartorially Empowered

By Renee Fortune

Studio RIGU will make you think about what fashion means to you as an individual. Why do you gravitate to certain silhouettes or choose certain shades? What makes your sense of style authentically yours? Do you own it? Do you embrace it, and share it? For me, Studio RIGU is as much about style as it is about social commentary – a daring challenge of the conventional, a chance to embrace something refreshingly different.

Studio RIGU founder and creative director, Riya Gupta was born in the sprawling rural cosmopolitanism of New Delhi. Her studies in Design and Development took her across the seas to the London College of Fashion, where she learnt the art of fashion design, and gained experience working under the guidance of renowned designers such as Giles Deacon, Manish Arora and Jade Kang. 

Her eventual trip back to her hometown brought into stark focus the apparent lack of comfortable, formal wear for the modern woman. For Riya, the consumer profile of the women of New Delhi had evolved since her formative years. The modern Indian woman was distinctively urbane and yet irrevocably culturally aware. She was more independent, bolder and more in tune with a global aesthetic that has firm roots in Indian soil, but speaks the visual language of the world. 

Her return to India marked an awakening to something new and fresh. It was an awakening simply too irresistible to act upon. 

As Riya explains: “The Indian woman of the new era is aware and conscious about what fashion says about who she is and how it affects how she feels about herself. She is unafraid to experiment and adapt. She is a power-dresser who owns the look she presents to the world.”

“Eccentric minimalism” is how Riya describes the RIGU aesthetic. It’s a clothing line for women who want to pare down the quantity but ramp up the quality. In RIGU, minimalism takes on a new identity. It’s minimalism, but not at all sparse in terms of detailing, colour, texture and form. In fact it abounds in all these areas, bringing a generous dash of the dramatic to what it means to keep it simple. It’s a wonderfully indulgent paradox really – a way of thinking about fashion as a celebration of self and what it means to stand out, walk tall and represent your brand of individuality.  
In the range you’ll find the Jodhpur Linen Shirt with the kind of silhouette you would seek out in a classic piece. But then, in a delightful prompt to play a bit, the shirt includes a draped cuff. You’ll also love the Azulik Kimono – a visual ode to the classic sari but in a monochrome colour way that brings it down into the realm of everyday modern. 

Studio RIGU is the kind of brand that will make you rethink your fashion sense. It’s arresting and thought-provoking, achieving the ‘X-factor’ by reimagining classic silhouettes and bringing the traditional into the contemporary world. 

“Our creative style is eccentric but modern. Our designs focus on colour and vibrant prints that resonate with our Indian heritage. Our silhouettes are clean, practical and fuss-free – the kind of clothing that transitions effortlessly from day to night,” says Riya.

Riya would prefer her brand to be described as ‘thoughtful’ rather than ‘sustainable’. Her design philosophy is about taking a reflective stance on what the world needs right now, right here, and bringing that to life using timeold design principles. It’s not about jumping on a bandwagon, or following a fad or looking good. It’s about really taking a moment to think about what fashion means to people, as individuals and as the collective.

All the prints, details, embroidery and embellishments are carefully planned and created using ancient techniques. Each piece is handcrafted using handloom fabrics from communities in India as well as newer, sustainable fabrics such as vegan silk, organic denim, bamboo silk and banana cotton. All garments are made-to-order and any wasted fabric is weaved into new textiles by like-minded businesses along the RIGU value chain. 

As Riya concludes: “Transformative clothing that’s designed for globe-trotters. Everyday luxury with modern sensibility. Studio RIGU is all that and yet so much more.”
$105.00 USD
$100.50 USD
$84.00 USD