FREEDOM THROUGH FASHION
CITY-BASED DESIGNER SHALINI VISAKAN IS CRAFTING A LINE OF CLOTHING FOR THE DIFFERENTLY ABLED THAT IS BOTH FASHIONABLE AND ADAPTIVE.
Shalini Visakan, 30, founder, Suvastra Designs began her journey with creating small but ingenious things to make travel easier for her wheelchair-bound husband. First it was belts and handles attached to his clothes, so that he could be lifted with ease, and then it was full garments that he didn’t require assistance with. The fashion design graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Chennai also designed a single piece saree for her wheelchair bound aunt.“The only thing she could wear easily was a night gown and that prevented her from going to the temple,” she says.
Upon seeing firsthand the change it made in the lives of those differently abled, she decided to launch her own adaptive clothing brand, Suvastra Designs. Her research involved working with differently abled children and their parents from Vidyasagar, a centre for special education. She created garments suited to their specific needs with innovative designs and fabric solutions. “A lot of things need to be added to the design such as straps, velcros and magnetic buttons. Due to higher body temperature, I have to also be careful about the fabrics I use. Those who wear diapers need extra crotch length in their garments,” she says.
Her line includes indo-western party wear for men and women, sarees, salwar kameez with attached shrugs, palazzos and crop tops, sherwanis and dhoti pants for men. Plans are in the pipeline to open an exclusive boutique for her adaptive clothing, but for now she is customising garments out of her small home setup. She is also open to making home visits for consultation and measurements.
Suvastra Designs was officially launched at Trios Fashion Show in the city this month. ÔTEL 9176223324 ÔPRICE On request