Some inspiring music to begin the post.
Meet Kamini Krishnaraj – founder and designer at The French Knot Studio . When we spoke she said her brand is small and talked about her struggles of a start up and entrepreneurship. I don’t think any company is small. Each designer or a start up is as big as your dreams are . If you dream big and work with love and passion your company is as big as the love you put into it. Because you are not just making beautiful handcrafted clothes you are sustaining India’s millions of years of history in its textiles and hundreds of livelihoods of the artisans you work with everyday.
Kamini is fond of reading and writing herself . ” I find the written word liberating, and enjoy writing when my head begins to overflow with ideas. Tennis is a game that I’ve played professionally as a child and continue to enjoy the game. The ‘Swan Lake’ by Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite pieces that I enjoy playing on the piano. My list of hobbies are never-ending because just about anything interests me. Be it gardening, experimenting with vegan recipes, reading non fiction books, sketching, or spending hours learning things on Khan Academy.”
“As a child, I took a liking towards craft work because I spent a lot of time with my grandmother doing arty things like, painting uncooked pasta and creating necklaces, using ladyfingers to create patterns on paper, making soft toys with felt and then later, she introduced me to hand embroidery. So that’s where the name for my studio comes from!”
“While my mother worked for a tourism company in Hyderabad, she did the textile tours for a couple of tourists and that’s how I got introduced to the exquisite range of handwoven fabrics. Ikat was just love at first sight! The model in my photographs is my sister, who has helped from the very beginning. I bribe her with garments from my collection and food sometimes, so she’s quite happy! Starting a business as a young girl requires family support, and I’ve been lucky that my family has been by side through this beautiful journey!”
love the little pom poms on the black ikat top
“Well, being someone who always dreamt of having her own studio, what I do today is a result of tonnes of ideas accumulating over time. As I became aware of the damage being done to our planet by using unsustainable means of production, I knew I wanted my label to be cruelty free and one that is in sync with our environment today. I’ve been inspired by Alan Watts, movies, music, books and everything about nature.”
The ikat cushion covers by T.F.K.S in plethora of colors and prints can cheer up any room .
“Being a sustainable clothing label, I believe that the choices we make today, will decide the future of the coming generations. And no matter how insignificant we believe we are, collectively we are powerful, irrespective of where we come from.”
“At our studio, we don’t just construct garments, we’re aware of the significance of every choice we make- from the fabric, to supporting our weaving communities, how we treat our workers and staying true to our roots.”
These dresses from their newly launched collection are a festive must have
“The USP of our label, would be that our designs are chic and urban, yet environment friendly. We have our priorities straight- the environment comes before currency. Consumer’s today are interested in knowing what a product is made of and how it’s made. This just goes to show that we’re heading in the right direction.”
When asked to choose her five must haves from the brand Kamini said – “The Telai Rumaal has got to be on this list! Having a rich history, this involves an intricate and laborious double ikat weave that is practiced by weaver’s in a few villages in Telangana today. I hope we take notice of the wealth of talent in our villages and bring this exquisite scarf back into mainstream fashion!
Our polka ikat shift dress is chic and comfortable, for a casual evening or can be teamed with a jacket for a formal look too. Our Ikat table runners in Central Asian weaves can add a bohemian touch to your home with the pop colours they come in! The Mangalgiri tea length dress adorned with french knots, is one of our favorites. It’s feminine and delicate, being handwoven and embroidered by hand. Oh and you can’t go wrong with our Double Ikat dress! “
“Our future plans would be to explore natural fibres such as pineapple leaf, which is an alternative to animal leather. I want to get into bag making and footwear too. This might take awhile, but its sure part of the plan!
As far as clothing goes, I plan to use Malkha cottons in my next collection, which is another sustainable fabric. So keep a look out for some elegant dresses in Malkha!”
And as Kamini sums it up beautifully – Every time you spend money, you‘re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.’ – Anna Lappe
As as Peacocks in the Rain claims – caste your vote to the handmade , to the entrepreneurs who decided to follow their hearts and chase their dreams . Caste your vote to the beautiful textiles of India because well Zara everyone is wearing and we hope thats not the kind of world you want.