Weekly Designer Feature : Avni Trivedi
Every Thursday starting today we will be introducing you to a new up and coming designer. To kick start this new addition to our website Papercut's own George Veve interviews the lovely & talented Avni Trivedi.
George Veve: How old were you when you made your first collection?
Avni Trivedi: Ok, this may sound crazy, but I remember creating my own traditional clothing when I was 5. My mother and I would scout fabrics and colors together, and she would listen to
my design inputs as I proudly told her what I wanted to create. I was more independent
in my design process in my late teens and continued to create various outfits for myself
through my 20’s until I moved to the US.
GV: As a Boston based fashion designer, do you feel you need to travel back home to India
to continue to find inspiration for recent and future collections?
AT: I definitely derive a lot of inspiration from India and my interactions with my artisans. In
Boston, I tend to be immersed in day to day operations and when it comes to creating
a new collection, I await my travels back so that I can leave the business side and
immerse myself in the fabrics and culture. It’s nourishing to be in that environment and
very important to my creative process.
GV: Are you inspired by what Boston, or the whole United States have to offer?
AT: Women in general inspire me, and I am absolutely in awe of the women in the
United States that are independent and strong. I have learned a great deal from
my experiences here and I attribute a lot of my success to the people I interact with
everyday. I specifically love the fashion aesthetic in this country which is expressive and
mélange of all cultures.
GV: Do you still visit India? I know your fabrics are strictly “artisan fabrics” so do you have
to travel to India to buy each fabric you use?
AT: I travel back to India every 4-6 months and usually stay for extensive periods of time.
My travels coincide with the making of a new collection and I like to source fabrics and
colors in person. I travel extensively within India and meet artisans face to face and work
together on custom weaves or embroideries.
GV: Out of all four artisan practices (Bandhani, Hand Woven Fabric, Kantha Embroidery,Natural Dyes) which is your favorite or the one that most inspires you to design?
AT: Oh that’s a tough one! To start, we have made all our garments 100% naturally dyed by hand. Eco-friendly dyeing is very important to me and we even strive to educate our
artisans to go back to their natural dyeing roots. Having said that, the work involved
in weaving, embroidery and tie-dye is so intrinsic and special, it’s hard for me to pick
anyone of them as my favorite.
GV: Are these techniques that have developed over time true to the Indian culture or were
any of these techniques assisted with the findings in other countries (i.e. the Peruvian
methods of hand dying, or the Parisian techniques in Haute Couture, hand sewing and
AT: Most of these techniques are inherent to the Indian culture. Every village in India has its
own textile art that have been passed down from generations and some are hundreds
of years old. The natural dyeing that we use, has been strongly influenced by Japanese
shibori methods that we manipulate to create our own signature textures.
GV: Did you begin with hand sewing or machine sewing? Are all of your pieces machine
sewn or do you have any special pieces you have hand sewn in storage?
AT: Most of our pieces are machine sewn, we do use certain hand sewing techniques to
finish parts of the garment. Our fabrics are so special and all hand made, and our goal is
to maximize their impact in our designs and construction.
GV: Your designs for this most recent collection (Warrior Queen F/W ’11) were very bold.
What fabrics did you use to create such structured silhouettes?
AT Warrior Queen was all about juxtaposition of feminine softness and female strength. In
order to create this bold look, I intermixed hand woven wool and hand woven peace silk,
that has a stiffer feel, with soft bamboo and silk chiffon. We also contrasted drapes with
pleats to enhance the play between bold and soft.
Check out more of Avni's designs on her website! http://www.avnifashion.com/