If you have ever lived in Baroda, you know it’s not your typical Tier-2 city.
There is a certain charm to the small city. It has its own independent character that separates it from cookie cutter burgeoning metros.
The historical and cultural heritage, the patronage provided by the Royal family of Gaekwads and now extended through other families and institutions to creative souls and the cosmopolitan crowd that bustles with plurality of cultures are just about few reasons that make Baroda what it is – a vibrant city fuelling creativity and innovation. The Sayaji Nagri is home to countless art studios, residencies, quaint textile based stores and home-grown labels that have steadily upped the fashion and lifestyle scene in Baroda.
We, at Ciceroni, are constantly on the hunt for hidden gems that speak of a city’s potential, that create thoughtfully crafted products and that symbolize novelty.
Here are 7 Baroda-based indie brands whose work sets them apart from their contemporaries across the country.
1. HOUSE OF MIRO
House of Miro, an apparel label by Miral Patel, is the newest label to check out for. This label brings contemporary global trends to Baroda and gives it the right amount of tradition to create a label that is stylish.
The founder spent several years in New Zealand working with designers who created breathable apparel. Miral was fascinated by the idea of providing comfort through clothes as opposed to the idea that getting ready and dressing up is a tedious task.
House of Miro, focuses on casual-wear or as Miral likes to put it, ‘comfort-wear’. The brand only works with khadi, cotton, mul and pure silk. The designs include magnificent surface-detailing and tasteful embroidery. French knots add to the overall look and feel to the outfit without compromising on the wearability. The entire range is extremely body-conscious and can be altered without any inconvenience.
Their upcoming festive range is beautiful and effortlessly classy. The off-white tunic with bright, colourful sleeves is ideal for all your pre-festive events while the olive green dress is a vacation essential!
DoOkdi, pronounced as ‘Dukdi’ is a concept which signifies a pair- similar but not always the same, much like twins, they’re often quite similar, but never identical. Jinal Patel, a student of Fine Arts and culture, has always had an immense fascination with insects. 2 years ago, she channelized her love for the fauna to create a jewellery label, DOOKDI, inspired by insect motifs.
DoOkdi has a quirky and eclectic collection of earrings, brooches and statement neckpieces, crafted with insects as their muse. Brass and copper sheets which go into making these unique products give each accessory a rustic, earthy texture that is irreplaceable. For lovers of pattern who appreciate subtlety in colours, the brown statement neckpiece is a wonderful choice whereas those who appreciate a contrast of hues will totally dig the metallic aqua earrings.
In an age when people want to look beyond gold, silver and diamonds and embrace minimalism, this is one brand that lets you do so in the trendiest manner.
Pronounced as ‘BADHU CHE’ in Gujarati, meaning ‘everything’, the label was conceptualized by Kanika Patel, a MSU Fine-Arts graduate about 4 years ago. While its main offering is quirky hand-painted shoes, it has an entire range of hand-painted Chanderi silk stoles that are made to order and a customized collection of handmade wooden plates that can be used as wall-hangings.
Its latest offering is hand-painted T-shirts and fridge-magnets, all of which can be customized. A small manufacturing unit in Uttar Pradesh is where BADHUCHE sources its raw materials from, wheras their designs are the collaborative efforts of several local artisans who work at their studio. The core idea of the brand is to provide the artists’ community with resources that will help channelize their skills.
The finesse it achieves through hand-painting is remarkable; their funky Kolhapuri chappals, dreamy ‘Drama Queen’ slip-ons in pastel shades and designer stoles with rich traditional patterns are testimony to the brand’s creative potential.
With an impeccable idea and exceptional techniques, BADHUCHE surely gives you everything you’re looking for!
4. LUKKA CHUPPI
Founded by Ishani Kanani in 2013, Lukka Chuppi is a brand that strives to bring novelty to the bespoke gifting segment. “Whenever someone gives wedding invites along with gift packages, we tend to discard them because everything has names of the married couple in bold colours and none of it can be reused. It is a human tendency to value gifts that seem like they are for our own use”
This is the insight Ishani tapped on and started creating attractive yet minimalistic gifting packages crafted from upcycled cotton and silk. Most of the gift boxes for weddings are collapsible making them convenient to carry, use and reuse. The wedding boxes are complete show-stealers, as they combine aesthetic appeal with functional usage and add a dollop of personalization to every single gift!
Think of getting wedding invites designed with envelopes that can be later reused as card organizers or customized photo-frame that can be reused as wedding invites.
The napkin holders score very well on functionality as well as on style. The corporate gift sets in refreshing colours will make mundane work seem interesting whereas the exquisitely crafted diaries will help you make your TO-DO List faster.
5. THE TEXTURE PALETTE
What started as an experiment with concrete and clay for architecture students Manushee Sutaria, Anushree Patel and Ankita Gupta is now a label that creates earrings, necklaces and rings from the same materials: CONCRETE AND CLAY!
While the brand’s earrings and rings are extremely popular, they also make elegant necklaces. The preparation technique involves adding colour inside the material – concrete and clay. Due to aesthetic limitations of only few colours that go well with the material, TEXTURE PALETTE sticks to colours like blue, teal, mustard, peach and light pinks ; favourite of all three founders.
The label aims to create a collection of jewellery that a woman can don for a day at work as well as for a casual outing, wherein the piece looks chic without looking out of place or over the top. With its collection, Texture Palette aims to infuse originality and eccentricity to your daily wear wardrobe.
Check them out for Navratri to stand out from the crowd.
6. XX SYNDROME
A generic belief that XX chromosome gives women a creative edge inspired Mauli Shah to start a handcrafted accessories label by the name ‘XX Syndrome’. Fringes, Tassels or mirror-work, there is enough for your aesthetic delight.
The brand’s collection includes statement necklaces, bright earrings, eye-catching rings, charming bags and elegant mang-tikkas that can be crafted to order. XX Syndrome’s products are generally made from waste block-printed and ajrakh cotton fabric that is upcycled. Rest products are crafted from locally sourced material to maintain the brand philosophy.
Each piece in the collection is brought to life with the help of striking embellishments like fringes, beads and mirrorwork. The mustard earrings with sequence-work is ideal for those weekend lunches, whereas their necklaces can bring an element of exoticism to those mundane work days. Through her brand, Mauli tries to add to the aesthetic sense of every woman and it shows.
Shokhi, one year old fashion label founded by Vandana Pandit, creates an exquisite range of apparel for women of all sizes. Vandana is a true champion of body-positivity and believes that fashion and experimentation doesn’t have to be limited to a particular body type.
The brand features an extravagant range of tunics, majestic kaftans, breezy summer dresses and stunning kurtas. Essentially hand-crafted, there is no machine-work involved in the designing. The designer uses craft techniques like Ikat, Shibori and other handwoven designs to add an edge to the outfit. Pom-poms are used elaborately in this labels designs to elevate the look each outfit.
The light pink kurta with floral embroidery is ideal for a long day at work whereas the bright pink long kurta with lime coloured embellishments can be paired with palazzos for a Sunday brunch. The dresses however, steal the show in Shokhi’s range- the navy blue dress is a bold, comfortable choice for a weekend getaway or a European sojourn.
In a circus full of brands that classify style on the basis of waist sizes, Shokhi empowers each woman to discover her own style statement.
If you’re looking to pick up global trends like minimalism and sustainability, look no further as these Barodian brands will ensure that you have an endless range of unique, innovative and most importantly, novel products to choose from.