The Fruit of The Loom

As handloom pioneer Sanjay Garg’s fashion maison Raw Mango goes online, he tells us about his new summer bridal collection in tissue and silk, and the importance of being sustainable in all aspects of consumption.

Lifestyle Insider Sari from Raw Mango's Between Bridal collection

Design maison Raw Mango, with its USP of traditional handloom fabrics reimagined and styled in a sophisticated, contemporary way, has just gone online. One look at the brand’s minimalistic, website, and its slice of life, candid fashion photographs, and it’s easy to understand the aesthetic of the House of Raw Mango. “We designed the website for ease in navigation,” says Sanjay Garg, the designer behind the revolutionary label, who started experimenting with handlooms in 2008. “Each product has been carefully selected and photographed to make the digital experience as smooth as ever.”

In these uncertain times, given the worldwide pandemic, Sanjay decided to embrace newer and more innovative methods to reach his audience. “The launch of our e-commerce store, has been on our list for a long time and became a priority in the last few months,” he says. The maison ships all over India, as well as internationally, specifically the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, UAE and Russia.

Lifestyle Insider Raw Mango's new online boutique - this is part of the Radha 2019 collection of saris

From saris, lehengas, jackets, dresses, odhanis, kurtas, and blouses, there’s a generous selection in chanderi silk, brocade, tissue, chikankari, while the collections themselves, such as his 2018 line in delicate, gossamer fabrics like golden tissue dupattas and shararas, are presented almost as family albums, a kind of visual storytelling that Sanjay says reveals his personality as well as the brand’s. “We have curated a selection of our classic and latest saris, textiles and garments in chanderi, Varanasi silk, sooti and embroidery,” says Sanjay. “A series of limited edition objects is also available (bowls, objets d’art, spoons).” Each garment comes alive with proper Indian names – Swadhila, Baadal, Saifi, Sindoora & Ruhi, Mansoor & Hakim, Anhad & Palash. “The names have been derived in relation to the textile’s motif, technique, inspiration, colour, collection, or region,” says Sanjay.

Lifestyle Insider Kurta and pants from Raw Mango

Raw Mango’s latest collection – a bridal one – ‘Between’ is summer’s highlight. “Raw Mango’s Summer 2020 bridal collection is about love that lies between,” says Sanjay. “We have explored this collection through a series of films. A marriage elicits emotions of joy and loss, bound by the union of love. This collection offers a variety for family and friends. The central motif – a striking blue kurinji flower – is a rare bloom which presents itself once every 12 years. Introduced through manipulations of form and pattern, it features high slit kurtas, lehengas, and a range of floral saris made in textiles of chanderi and tissue silk. The main palette consists of soft pinks, peaches, angoori, and white, contrasted with vermilion red, neelkuranji blue, and Rama green. Between is a collection of the pairings we love.”

Lifestyle Insider Raw Mango's online collection of jackets

Raw Mango has been working with kaarigars and artisans across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Varanasi, and has been sustainable at a time when nobody employed the term in fashion. It’s been a pioneer in the field of handloom textiles, and is especially relevant today, given the present fascination for all that is handloom. “We have always been ‘vocal for local’ – with roots in craft and community, as our brand’s relationship with handloom began a decade ago,” says Sanjay. “There is always going to be a need for local commodities and businesses. This amongst others, is what contributes to a nation's identity and individuality, and also its socio-economic development – it’s time we stop looking outside and turn inwards to rely on our own.”

Lifestyle Insider Raw Mango's new Between collection

“We have been talking about sustainability for so long that it has almost become a ‘trendy’ word – we need to apply it in all aspects of our lives and re-evaluate our consumption patterns, not just in fashion,” says Sanjay. “Supporting local businesses and craftsmen, and ensuring ethical treatment and fair wages will help promote socio-economic growth for all. Evolution takes place at all levels. We all need to be a bit more aware of our surroundings.”

Lifestyle Insider Sari from Raw Mango's Between collection


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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