Saloni Lodha accumulated skills and ideas through living in India and Hong Kong, before eventually deciding to set up her own label in London in 2007. With a unique international angle and a drive to compel stand-out fashion, she first opened an edgy boutique in brand-heavy Hong Kong, before returning to her native India to mine its rich tradition of textile making. As a result, Lodha’s line combines that desire to create something different with her Indian heritage—a marriage that is at once uninhibited and highly intimate.
Lodha makes use of old Indian techniques to create a distinctive design in all her collections. “For me, India is more than only color and embroidery,” she says, “there are techniques that are almost not used anymore and I like to go back to those and modernize them.” Raised between Rajasthan and Mumbai, where she studied textile design, she is more than equipped to strike this balance. In fact, Lodha doesn’t simply attach Indian embroidery to her clothes, but instead gives them a contemporary touch: hand-woven fabrics from India are given a signature, contemporary treatment through texture and zipper details.
Through this ancient-meets-modern approach, Lodha seeks “to create something timeless, something that people want to wear and step out without thinking about it twice.” This sensitivity means private clients can go to Lodha’s studio to collaborate on a design. “Customers like to come here and work with the drape—they feel like part of the process,” she says, “but because of the time issue, I can take only a few clients a year.”
Marrying structure with draping and rigidity with softness, her current collection—inspired by the colors and patterns of the Mughal Empire—features metallic fabrics with watery finishes, waffle jersey insertions, bold brushstroke prints and coarsely woven cotton freshened up by a wax-coated finish. Having conquered the British and Japanese markets, Lodha is now poised to storm the US.
Also, be sure to look out for an accompanying video blog documenting her design process.