Looking for bespoke designer wear? Head for the newly opened boutique, Sthayi, on Club Road
Dressing sensibilities in Kochi have moved slowly, yet surely into more daring territories. From normal Indian kurtas, the cuts are heading straight towards western ones. People are no longer bothered about ‘what people would say/think’. For someone who has been closely associated with the fashion scene in Kochi, Latha George Pottenkulam says she has closely observed the change in preferences. Right from the kind of fabric to the embellishments and patterns, tastes have evolved.
Latha has been cutting, fitting and designing dresses and bridal ensembles in Kochi for about 20 years. Though she began her career in garments merely as a hobby, Latha has always been known for her western cuts and detailing. She has recently opened an outlet to showcase her label, Sthayi, at Club Road. The collection ranges from casual to party wear kurtas, tops, saris and cholis, all high-end and designer.
Among cholis, jackets are the rage now. Latha has displayed two of them in tissue at the store. “Young girls look for something different. Normal blouses are not so popular anymore. Long cholis are in vogue.” She has a collection of elaborately worked saris in net, chiffon and silk. These start from Rs. 4,000 and go up to Rs. 40,000. Every piece of garment at the store has been designed and made at Latha’s workshop in the city.
She keeps updated on the trends by way of travels throughout the country. Most of the fabrics are sourced during these journeys, she says. Bridal couture is her forte. From selecting the fabric to helping them choose the patterns to making the final product, she is part of the entire process. “I’m more of a stylist in that sense,” she laughs.
From the conventional silks, brides are increasingly opting for shimmer and georgettes. A to-be bride once approached her to do a traditional kavani to complement her chatta and mundu set for her wedding. “Girls are thinking out of the box now. Nobody wants run-of-the-mill.”
Among the salwar kameezes, the latest trend to look out for is the Pakistani cut—the long (almost floor-length) kurtas, which has a nice flair and is usually paired with smart trousers. Latha, however, has tweaked them to a more tamed version of the Pakistani cut.
The dressy Anarkali is on the verge of moving out, though slowly. Among shorter tops, the peplam cuts are hot. That said, traditional is always in. Even when it comes to kurtas, the long ones in regular cottons are always moving.
Latha plans to bring in bags and jewellery, too. Every month, she would introduce two new designs in silk and cotton.
Sthayi is near the Collector's Camp Office on Club Road.