Fashion designer Chandana Dewan: The patchwork angel
Chandana Dewan's fashion-forward ideas have been garnering much attention for quite some time. The designer is known to work with bold and vibrant colours as well as block motifs, but it is her love affair with patchwork that really sets her work apart from everyone else.
"I took a course on jewellery design in California and started dabbling with different mediums like paper and beads. My love for accessorising slowly started to spread across mediums and I started designing saris with patches decorated with embroidery", explained Chandana.
She slowly started to expand her horizons and range of products, designing shalwar suits, kurtis, tops, shawls, bags and jewellery, men's kurta, and even children's outfits. Her creations gained a lot of traction and quickly became a go-to amongst fashionistas.
Chandana mostly works with bright colours and her work draws inspiration from nature and the changing seasons.
"My pieces are an embodiment of the season they correspond to. I also draw a lot of inspiration from deshi flowers like krishnachura, jaba, nayantara, rajanigandha, and even seasonal fruits for the motifs that go into my collection," she elaborated. However, her intricate patchworks have become her trademark over the years. The idea of patchwork actually came when she realised that a lot of fabric would be left over after making any outfit.
"A lot of good leftover fabric goes to waste because there is not enough to be utilised in making another outfit. However, I realised that these fabrics, when used as patches, can make any outfit even more eye-catching. I started experimenting with patchwork and soon, it became my signature style," she added.
Another defining element of Chandana's creations is the use of sustainable fabric. "Light, comfortable, and easy to wear while being extremely stylish. Sustainable fabrics give the wearer a look that is timeless and distinct, and definitely a class apart. The climate of Bangladesh is very hot and humid. Keeping this in mind, we always try to use natural breathable fabrics with the emphasis being comfort," she further stated.
Chandana is currently working on new designs that will continue to implement her signature and trademark patches. She has also added embroidery, block print, and screen print to bring variations and break away from her usual style and keep things fresh. She will continue to experiment with the fabric of the patchwork and embellish her patches with beadwork, block print, and screen print and will continue to use bold vibrant palettes.
Chandana also had heaps of praise for the current fashion scene where women, regardless of age, ethnicity, or social position are trying to embrace fashion in their own way.
"Fashion now has become more affordable for the masses. Women wear colours based on seasonal variations and adopt the theme of the different festivities. They are very into the fusion Indo-Western look which is very popular now. This is a great time to be a fashion designer as we have the freedom to experiment with colours and trends and find designs that sit well among our clientele," she added in her concluding notes.
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Location: InterContinental Dhaka