By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI

Meet The Maker: Manashwini, Fashion Designer


Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi my name is Manashwini. I was born and raised in Coimbatore and finished my schooling in Ooty. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Law from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. I was never formally educated in textile but always felt that this was my calling. Apart from Wabi Sabi I also do some freelancing legal work for a few select clients, pursuing/attempting to pursue a career in arbitration, and also involved in the family business. And yes, I like to wear many hats!

How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?
Wabi Sabi is very young, we just started February this year (2015). We’ve had a lot of interest from our closest circle, exhibiting at By Hand From The Heart is officially our first outing. We have had experience working with design from much earlier on. It all began with helping out a friend by customising her trousseau. It slowly progressed to doing a few more sarees for other friends and close family. I’ve personally always had a keen interest in launching a brand, so we decided to set up a studio. We do occasionally create sarees but the focus is now more on creating western silhouettes made of locally sourced fabrics.

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
The first line of clothes consisted mostly of add on pieces such as jackets, vests, capes, etc. This time around we’ve worked on creating weather ready clothing, we have crop tops, high waist shorts, the trench dress and a new and improved cape. As a brand we understand that a woman has a very complicated relationship with her wardrobe so we have tried to create pieces that are multi functional and suited for the humid months with a surprise shower or two. The cut is also fuss free, laid back, made with comfortable fabrics which let you breathe.

Can you describe your work place/ space?
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My work space is my own personal cocoon, my empty canvas where I can create and experiment. I could spend hours there, productively of course. The decor is very rustic and minimal, it helps to sort of declutter my mind and focus on the fabrics.

What is a typical day at Wabi Sabi like?


Ironically a typical day at Wabi Sabi turns out quite unpredictable sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, we are very organised and we do have our routine of checking fabric stock, following up with the tailors, appointments with clients,etc; yet the day manages to be sprinkled with a few surprises. I guess it’s more to do with the nature of work, in a creative environment you’re always learning something new be it the fabric, colours, etc. It’s all very exciting!

What/ Who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

The inspiration is the name of the brand itself, ‘ Wabi Sabi’ in Japanese roughly translates to a way of living which focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay. We try to keep this in mind every time we create something new. Your clothes should help you tell your story, as it is.

Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?


The creative process actually starts with the fabric, the feel of it, the colours, the prints, the whole deal. We like to work our designs around the character of the fabric, it’s probably very unorthodox but that is precisely where the story begins for us. We believe that irrespective of where your inspiration comes from, design and the essence of the fabric have to go hand in hand to create magic. The most rewarding part would be when you see that magic come alive, albeit after plenty of trial and error but when it finally comes together it makes it worth much more than all the effort.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter/ designer?
At the risk of sounding mellow dramatic I would have to say that the best thing would be to see someone choose something you created. The independence to express oneself in a creative environment is extremely gratifying but that moment when you see a client like/love your product is priceless.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
BELIEVE! And also never give up on trying to improve it. Feedback is worth a lot more than the monetary gains when you’re trying to create something exclusive.

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months? 


The future plan for Wabi Sabi is to have an exclusive line of clothes made from organic homegrown fabrics. The focus will be on cottons, linens, khadi, and jute. The idea is to bring the spotlight back on comfortable natural fabrics. We have a few more exhibitions lined up and an international trunk show coming up soon as well. Wabi Sabi will soon be available on our online store launching before the end of the year. We are very young and ambitious, so fingers crossed!

Manashwini will showcase her works, at the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market | 7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences, 41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai.

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One comment on “Meet The Maker: Manashwini, Fashion Designer

    July 24, 2015


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