STUDIO RIGU DESIGNER RIYA GUPTA TALKS US THROUGH HER TAKE ON EMBRACING ABNORMALITY.
What’s your background in fashion? Born and bred in New Delhi, India, I studied design and development at London College of Fashion and spent my university years gaining a wide range of experience under the guidance of different designers.
What motivated you to start Studio RIGU? After returning to my hometown, I noticed a lack of comfortable formal wear for the modern, enterprising woman. There was a shift in Indian demographics and a need for an updated wardrobe. This gap drew my attention and gave birth to Studio RIGU. I began interacting with friends and family, discovering the difficulties they faced in finding well-fitted formal clothes. We decided to create everyday luxury with a modern sensibility by incorporating calculated yet eccentric minimalism and thoughtful detailing.
Tell us about this collection, In German, the word anomalien means ‘a deviation from the common type, rule or form; irregularity or abnormality’. This collection brings to life unique characteristics we embody: it’s warm, empowering, experimental and sophisticated. Each piece is created to be carried with confidence. The idea was to glorify every abnormality we possess as individuals and celebrate it. To be out of the box. To stand out.
How have you played with colour and shape? Studio RIGU is synonymous with the idea of ‘empowered femininity’. We’ve concentrated on simple, classic shapes, along with modern tailoring and clean lines. We play with bold colours, mixing them with basic silhouettes.
Can you tell us a bit about the beautiful fabrics? Our fabrics are sourced from mills that share a vision of creating in a low-impact way. They’re all natural, organic and recycled – we primarily use vegan silk (Cupro), organic cotton and organic denim, as well as handloom fabrics sourced from weaving communities in India. Our desire to reinterpret and update ancient practices from Indian textile design has led us to techniques like tie dye and block printing. All pieces are one of a kind and made in different colour variations – we refer to our Indian roots for inspiration for these pops of colour. We also use a unique technique of hand-weaving tape to create a woven fabric look, and use our garment and embroidery waste as trims to finish the clothes.
How do you combine the concepts of masculinity and femininity in your pieces? By mixing menswear fabrics with feminine silhouettes, we challenge the conventional idea of ‘power dressing’. The amalgamation of multiple genres, cultures and deep-rooted psychological traditions inspired us to create this eclectic blend.
Which is more important: fashion or comfort? Fashion that is comfortable. Comfort is key in all our designs. For us, comfort transcends all trends and is a focal point during the design process.
What part of designing a range do you enjoy most? I enjoy researching the most: learning about new techniques, new crafts and the stories of the craftsmen and artisans who are creating them. Each print and texture has a story behind it, and that fascinates me.
Where can we see more of your stuff? Online at studiorigu.com or on Instagram at @studiorigu.