Tanya Jain who graduated from NIFT Delhi in 2016 in Knitwear Design started her label ‘Toile’ in March of 2018. Tanya’s story is different and with an edge just like her label. She comes from a business background i.e her family has a business which deals with the fabrication of all types of knitted fabrics. See the connect? She essentially had an edge over all her fellow knitwear batchmates as she was one of the few who got to witness the workings of the industry even before she stepped into it.
Toile today isn’t restricted in it’s choice of fabrics though it refrains from using synthetic materials. Tanya strongly believes that although synthetic fabrics might be cheaper but in the long run they truly lead to a sharp decline in the quality of the garment. It’s the culmination of being in the presence of her family business and her own reasoning which have led to her vision. Her design language is minimal with an edge. One would come across a range of pieces while scrolling through toile’s ensembles but they would all be a part of a cohesive design language and a larger idea guiding them all. The idea is functionality and wearability. Tanya always seeks to design pieces that would fit the everyday woman’s persona and not just be reduced to being the style statement of some celebrity. ‘I want the everyday woman to be my muse’ Tanya tells me and this is what leads to the variation in silhouettes seen in her label. While some may be modest and barely skin revealing- which would be appropriate for workwear, there are some dresses which the 20 something girl would love. Her label is basically inclusive of all women. A commendable aspect that one witnesses in Tanya's label is her consideration of the market need and the inevitable need of her consumer. She designs keeping the geographical terrain in mind and it’s social climate. It’s an aspect that a lot of labels turn a blind eye too. She plays close attention to what her consumer would be comfortable wearing and in what environment. Tanya demonstrated this with the example of her most recent collection where she aimed to design workwear which could be transitional. The workwear would transition to an effortless evening outfit. The ensembles served a dual purpose- a stylish yet comfortable outfit for work and one in which a woman would feel as confident stepping into a party.
A fabric which struck her interest during her student years was Pique(a fabric used in t shirts). It was the fabric structure along with the comfort that it provided that truly fascinated her. She was also fascinated by jacquards- seeing the ability of motifs and designs being constructed into a fabric sans printing. Although toile uses an array of surface treatments- ranging from printing to embellishments, Tanya always tries to seek a balance. For instance, if the surface is loud, then the silhouette would be minimal and if the silhouette is a little out of the box and experimental, the surface would be way more toned down. When I ask her who the Toile woman would be? She tells me, ‘Somebody who really wants to try on new things in life, is experimental and has a keen sense of quality over quantity. She likes to be effortlessly elegant and at the same time is fun and be the life of the party.’
Her vision for her label stems from her own sensibilities as a fashion consumer. ‘ I don’t like putting my clothes in a box. I feel, if you want to wear a sequined dress to work then you should wear it!’
In the near future, she plans to release her Autumn Winter collection, tie up with online websites and stage pop ups by the end of the year to develop a deeper connect with her consumer.
TEXT SUPRIYA JAIN