Fashion

Fancy a frock?

Designer Shruti Charan Kodikal Photo: Special Arrangement  

Jolly pink flamingos and languid birds of paradise... Also part of the gang are candy-pink stripes, little black umbrellas and serious checks. The varied prints have something in common — they find themselves on summery frocks designed by Shruti Charan Kodikal.

Stylist-designer and founder of Frock Island, Shruti’s Spring-Summer 16 collection is a mix of cheerful prints and vibrant solids. Ever since the designer moved to Chennai from Bangalore two years ago, she realised frocks worked best for the warm weather here. “That’s what I wear all the time. I started designing my own and getting them tailored. Friends started placing orders, and my husband suggested I start a brand. And so, Frock Island took shape three months ago,” she says. The challenge was to find good tailors who could give perfect shape to her patterns, and set up a unit. She located skilled craftsmen, in Bangalore, who tailor for international fashion houses such as Stella McCartney and Roberto Cavalli.

In flowy silhouettes, the frocks are just right for brunches, an afternoon out, or even a walk by the sea. Functional and comfortable, these day dresses encourage one to give those jeans a break. “None of the dresses are too short. They are knee length or longer; modest yet stylish,” says the 28-year-old. Comfort is an important element in her minimalist designs. While a lot of mills churn out large numbers of garments in polyester and synthetic, she limits her materials to cotton and linen.

Shruti sources materials herself. Road trips, holidays with family or even a day out with friends — no matter where she is, the designer keeps an eye out for material with interesting prints and colours.

Frock Island started with a target clientele of 18 to 40-year-olds. But a large number of her clients are in the 40-45 age group as well. These include customers from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Australia and the U.S.

While in Chennai she retails out of Amethyst, most of the orders are through the label’s Facebook page. There are no bulk productions and every design has just a handful of dresses. “That’s because I like to maintain exclusivity,” says Shruti. She plans to launch three collections in a year. The plan is to stick to subtle, simple patterns, where the only loud element is perhaps a small golden button at the back.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 2:48:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/frock-islands-line-of-summery-dresses/article8432874.ece

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