One of India’s foremost designers, Ritu Kumar has developed a unique style of her own, reflecting the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary. With a background in art history and museology, which has enriched her horizons, the designer’s understanding of ancient designs and the innovative use of traditional crafts has created a new classicism.
This season Ritu Kumar Festive Winter 2019 collection interprets Asia’s rich textile heritage with clean lines and silhouettes celebrating the contemporary Indian woman with Radhika Apte as the face of the campaign who epitomizes the spirit of the Ritu Kumar woman. The talent powerhouse, Radhika Apte has taken over the world of NetFlix and currently has been addressed as the queen of the digital platform. With her unconventional looks and movie choices, she has created a niche for herself among a current lot of actresses.
The campaign features a voiceover narration by Radhika Apte of the Hindi translation of Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”. “If” is a timeless poem that is as relevant today as the day as it was written. Inspiring and motivating, the lyrics convey Rudyard Kipling’s advice on how to win at life and above all how to be a better human being, man or woman.
Here’s how the Hindi narration goes:
Yadi tum kar sakti pratiksha, tan man ki thakaan bina
Sabki jhooti baatein sun bhi, satya bolna tumne chuna
Yadi dekh sakti tum sapne, par sapno ki daas nahi
Yadi tum rakh sakti samta, jeet mile ya haar mile
Dono ek samaan samajhti, badal ho ya dhoop khile
Yadi kar sakti baat ho sabse, sad gun apne khoti nahi
Raja ke sang chalet hue bhi, apni saralta khote nahi
Yeh poori Vasudha hai tumhari, vo sab kuch jo isme ho
He beti sabse barh kar, tum nari ho, tum shakti ho!
The standout lyrics from the poem “He beti sabse barh kar, tum naari ho, tum shakti ho!” has inspired the hashtag for this campaign #NaariTumShaktiHo.
The ethos and essence of the Ritu Kumar woman is one who is ready to take on the world fearlessly but with humility. The lyrics of “If’ mirror the values of brand Ritu Kumar perfectly and Radhika Apte is the personification of the Ritu Kumar woman. With Radhika’s narration of ‘If” she takes over the baton from Nimrat Kaur who also read the poem as part of the Festive Winter 2017 campaign.
The Ritu Kumar Festive Winter 2019 collection features a palette of earthy tones, blazing burgundy, and sap greens. Key fabrics include woven jacquards, feather-weight cotton, Chanderi, and silk treated with traditional vegetable dyes. Silhouettes are traditional but with a twist; kurta dresses and draped saris that can be worn as one-pieces or paired with bottoms; tunics with asymmetric hemlines and jumpsuits that can be layered.
Scarves are a key accessory, worn just as or styled as belts and headscarves to add an element of whimsy and print. Placement prints featuring archival Ritu Kumar patterns continue to feature heavily in the collection. Embroideries in the collection range from Kutch to Kashmiri Jamaawar. The incorporation of metallic threads with Mukaish, Aari, and Kamdaani detailing make the festive classics your go-to styles for this season.
The designer herself is credited as being one of the first Indian designers who was catalytic in bringing a contemporary idiom to several ancient skills and has been a strong force in marketing them to a dynamic modern India. Over the years, Ritu Kumar’s work as a fashion designer has shown a progression, which has matured beyond textile crafts. She has a unique ability to evolve with each collection into creative styling, translating textures and embellishments into refreshingly new and unexpectedly contemporary silhouettes, making her work particularly relevant from India’s fashion point of worldview!