Brand: 18 East
Key Pieces: 18 East sought out The Colors of Nature to source the best bottom-weight handloom fabrics for the Dungri West Ochre Denim pants in slide #10. The richly over-dyed garment features a high-rise, a straight leg, kicked forward on-seam pockets, and a custom-tooled metal button at the front.
Buy: 18 East
Editor’s Notes: 18 East’s fifth drop saw creative director Antonio K. Ciongoli work with various Indian artisans to bring beautiful handmade products back into the fold of contemporary menswear as an antidote to fast fashion. The collection highlights these efforts with a new range of shirting entirely handwoven in Kolkata, based on original Indian Khadi designs that had been appropriated by Italian mills, woven by machine and sold at a premium.
“A few years back at the Milan fabric shows, I found a group of Biellese cotton shirtings that had the distinctive look of Indian handlooms” Ciongoli tells us. “When I questioned the mill about the fabrics, I was told that they had been machine woven to imitate khakis their designers had found on a trip to India.
“I requested the swatches but never felt right about running what were essentially luxury fakes. This season, we brought them home to India and had them rewoven, entirely by hand, as they were always meant to be.”
For more information about 18 East stay tuned for a special Under the Radar feature later this month.