“Personal style is really up a notch in the country,” says designer Shweta Kapur as she sits down to chat with HELLO! following the launch of 24-7, her label’s new collection, “It’s so cool to see people dress up in their own way which reflects their personality.
It was this fascination with the evolving consciousness of personal style amongst the people that inspired the designer to create a collection that offered something for every kind of person and their style. “My aim for 24-7 was to design something that makes women comfortable in their own skin and reflect their own vibe.”
Ever since Kapur established her label 431-88 in 2012, she has worked towards creating clothes for people who are unafraid to explore their identity through fashion and has managed to strike a balance between modern and traditional.
Here’s an excerpt from our interview with the designer…
HELLO!: Who is the woman that 24-7 has been made for?
Shweta Kapur: “24-7 is made for every woman. The whole idea behind 431-88, when we started was to offer women easy essential pieces that they can wear day in and day out. 24-7 is exactly about that. No matter what the age of the woman is, we wanted to show how 431-88 can be worn any time of the day. The pieces also have a classic appeal to them. They can go from mother to daughter and look different on both.”
H!: How is the 2023 version of the 431-88 pre-draped sari different from the one introduced in 2016?
SK: “I started creating pre-draped saris because the 24-year-old me never wanted to wear my mother’s saris. And most of my friends and the first few clients got the sari for the same reason. It was always the sari for the ‘young kids’. But now it’s so funny to see how women across age groups are wearing it and I often see mother-daughters sharing the same sari but maybe with a different blouse.
The original 431-88 sari drape hasn’t changed but its appeal has. Over the years we have introduced different versions where we’ve added our signature fringe, a mini petticoat (a first in the country), and played around with fabrics and treatments but the love that the original metallic sari gets is unparalleled. It started as an experimental piece that I made for myself for my friend’s wedding and I could not imagine that all these years later it would still be the first thing that gets sold out.
Every year we introduce a new drape. My only brief to myself is that it needs to be fuss-free, pre-draped and flattering to the body. The whole idea is to also treat the sari as our version of the little black dress: something you can mindlessly pick when you don’t know what to wear.”
H!: What were your major inspirations for the collection and the name?
SK: Most of the silhouettes in the collection are based on what I usually wear. They are fuss-free, and practical and give me ease and freedom as I go about my day.
The embroideries were inspired by this constant struggle we have with ourselves where we need to show face and be the perfect version of ourselves to the outside world. Whereas we might be completely falling apart inside. The front of the blouses was embroidered in perfectly straight lines and the back suddenly changed colour and had a drip element to it. Almost like melting wax. The name of the collection came from our stylist Nidhi Jacob who coined it during the shoot. We were ideating on how to shoot the campaign and she said it’s such an easy collection to wear 24-7 and the name just struck.
H!: What was your process in figuring out the materials and silhouettes for this collection?
SK: “The silhouettes were easy to do. I was clear that they needed to have a timeless appeal and fit easily in every wardrobe without crying for attention. Even our most dramatic piece from the collection is subtle in its own way. For fabrics, I wanted to work with jerseys that look and feel like liquid. They are so comfortable to wear and give a great look to the body.”
H!: What are some of the biggest challenges that you face, as a designer, 2023?
SK: “Navigating the current economic environment is a huge challenge and the looming global recession is already showing its side effects. As a designer and an entrepreneur, I face challenges on a day-to-day basis. The whole team works relentlessly to make sure that the flow of the supply chain and the rising fuel prices don’t translate to an increase in our MRPs.”
H!: What are some of your tips for investing in fashion pieces for a smart wardrobe?
SK: “Your wardrobe represents your style and a smart wardrobe is one which has just the right pieces to cater to each type of occasion. I believe classic tones, silhouettes that flatter your body, a simple black dress and some denim essentials are a must. Oversized white shirts and a simple black sari are two staples that I think go well with every setting.”