I always find it tough when the designers leave it to me to choose the music. Its like I have to express the soul of the brand through the music I choose and that my dear friend is TOUGH. So when you hear this – All you want to do is wear a Colors and Mirrors, get on the stage and dance like no one is watching .
“Colors and Mirrors” a blanket label to summarize everything what its founder Charu is. Like she says what is life without lots of colors and a few mirrors !
Charu had a privilege to study in 16 schools in 3 countries . A Mechanical Engineering graduate, worked with the Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) industry for about 4 years followed by Masters in Project Management from NUS.
Our South Indian beauty always had deep yearning for everything Indian from sambhar vadas to kutchi bags to Maharashtrian nath & beaded jewellery to the Bengali Taant saree and a lot more). This also reflects strongly in her own personal style and her home . She said she redos her place almost every month and then has a peculiar fondness for crappy tamil movies over curd rice and pickle !
Charu says designing and ‘making’ have always been major parts of her life. It traces back to her father and grandmother . Carpentry, plumbing, interior designing, gardening, painting, home decor – they did them all. Having grown up in a household where everything was hands on, her interest in designing and creating was natural.
“During my bachelors, people liked my sartorial choices and I enjoyed sharing my ideas on styling and putting ensembles together. So wanting to have my own line of clothing was always something that I wanted to do. I love skirts and didn’t really find the kinds I liked in the market. So, I got hold of a machine, and began creating! In October 2015, as an experiment, I designed a skirt for a friend. We shared it on Facebook and I was surprised to receive requests for custom designed clothing from friends and acquaintances. Until March 2016 I designed around 3-4 pieces per month, In April 2016 I designed and created 6 pieces of skirts as a mini collection of sorts, and even before I could put them up for purchases I had people blocking them right away. Then in June 2016, I launched my first ever full-fledged collection of 12 summer wrap-around skirts on Facebook and they sold out in about 2 hours post the launch. There has been no looking back since then.”
Charu personally handles the brand from start to end – conceptualization, designing, procurement, tailoring, product photography, social media marketing, packaging, shipping and customer care. Its absolute fun playing all these roles; keeps me on my toes constantly thinking on what next! The joy of seeing ideas shaping up into tangible products is beyond words.
” I have made over 300 skirts so far, am glad to say that I have not repeated any design. In the age of mass everything, I am happy creating limited number of exclusive pieces wherein each piece is unique and special, as are people! From Payal Khandwala’s color blocks and easy silhouettes to Gaurang Shah’s ability to create textures in kadhi, tussar and Organza . Aki Narula , Anavila or Sanjay Garg – I am always amazed at our rich textile hertitage that these designers have revived. In a country as diverse as ours with almost every state boasting its own weave and craftsmanship there is no limit to what one can create. As for me, I enjoy combining different fabrics, mixing patterns and using offbeat color compositions.
I repeat my clothing and enjoy styling them differently each time. So to me it is very important that the fabric looks good, is breathable, comfortable, reusable, reasonably long lasting and easy on maintenance. So I focus on the above points while deciding on a particular silhouette/pattern/design. Open ended trips to places that can provide visual inspiration (market spaces, old alleys, galleries, bazaars, wholesale marts, beaches and long drives) and updating myself on creations of some of my favorite designers help me to a large extent. Following my instincts and understanding that (art)designing is not a race. I have stuck to my personal preferences in the products I create and have been blessed to be surrounded by people who relate to my ideas and enjoy wearing my work.” Says Charu
“Skirts can be very tricky. Though many women like skirts, a lot of them refrain from wearing them presuming they would add volume. That is where I focus on, to break that preconceived notion and make every body type look great and comfortable! I ensure that my skirts have good flare, fall and are light weight, flattering at the waist, have least number of joints and are easy on maintenance. How each person feels, being clad in Colors & Mirrors is extremely important to me.” Charu
These 5 pieces are Charu’s personal favorites for your next Diwali Party
A maxi kali skirt that combines the traditional South Indian chettinaad checks in silk cotton with hand block printed paisleys in cotton. The border has good old jarigai work along the skirt hemline, and a bunch of tassels contrasting the skirt body in black and pink.
This skirt is a knee length flared skirt that brings together ikat cotton from Andhra and rich gold jari polka dotted weave on a crimson red base in silk cotton blend. It is simple yet festive, and the length is perfect for the fireworks during Diwali!
These maxi skirts from the flamingo series – combine solid rich colors with contrasting borders that have flamingo motifs in dull gold. The tops can be customized a million ways and the best part about these skirts is that they are very minimal in terms of the work on them, light weight yet festive and striking!
The Kalamkari Ruffled Affair series that combines kalamkari cotton fabrics with complementing gold tone tissue cotton that is ruffled throughout the circumference thereby adding lot more to the flare but only along the border!
This piece combines chettinaad checks in the traditional red-black-yellow combo in silk cotton with soft pochampally ikat in an English grey and jarigai along the hemline
” My mom-in-law really likes the south Indian actor – Nayanthara. Everytime she sees her sporting a skirt or an anarkali in a movie or on a show, she will call me up and tell me the details and ask me,’ why not create something like that or this’ (referring to the ones she wore).
” Couple of months later I got the opportunity to call her up and tell her, “Check out this movie poster, she is wearing a piece that I created” It felt soooo good! ” Charu with your talent and creativity we are are sure that the future promises you many such moments.
” My single biggest objective now is to not say “sorry, we are out of stock” to all the enquiring customers. While matching a “one piece” only philosophy and increasing demand is tricky, I am in the middle of sorting it out and hopefully there will be good news on that front soon. ” Signs off Charu . To get your own customized skirt reach out to Charu @ firstname.lastname@example.org