#BTExclusive Inside Raw Mango's 'SS21 Collection 'Other'

Sanjay Garg redefines the concept of supernatural but in a non-traditional way using digitally created floral prints, bright colours and relaxed silhouettes

Raw Mango’s latest Spring/Summer Collection titled ‘Other’ is a stark contrast to the last offering from the brand ‘Moomal’. There’s nothing traditional about ‘Other’—neither the designs nor the silhouettes are what we usually expect from Sanjay Garg, the founder of Raw Mango. Hand-woven patterns on silks have been replaced with digital prints inspired from nature and the traditional silhouettes like shararas, and lehenga-cholis have made way for coordinated sets and separates like oversized jackets, wide pants, kurtas, long and short placket shirts in colours ranging from pale blue, pale pink, lime, red, green and maroon. Sanjay distinctly shows us that Indian textiles and craft traverse beyond the confines of conventional weddings and traditional events.  

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What also leaves an impression is the unique theme of the collection, which the campaign images aptly convey. The red painted faces and green hands of the models with wide, unnaturally big eyes staring blankly ahead appear unsettling and strangely disturbing. But the soft silhouettes, the bright, feminine floral prints that stand out in contrast to the background of either baby pinks, ivory or neon yellow, calm you down. The styling, clothes, models  and the barren land that serves as a backdrop exhibit conflicting forces at play. Sanjay explains, “Through  ‘Other’, we address what we have within; to challenge the surreal as real and the supernatural as natural. The campaign for this collection conveys the thought behind it - a dynamic reality that is best summed up by the word, ‘other’.”

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The pandemic set us all on the path of self reflection and introspection. With Sanjay the whole drill seems to have led to this:  “The narrative of the collection explores  the idea of self-acceptance that reveals the complex, conflicting realities and at times, a foreign sense of other. This defines the notion of various beings within,” he says. However, the “foreign sense of other” is not looked at as menacing but rather like the “aposematic alarm” or survival instinct that is often witnessed in nature. Sanjay redefines supernatural as a force that “serves to protect.”

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The collection fittingly reflects on the axis between beauty and wonder, evoking an emotion that appeals across age groups and Sanjay confirms, “We are not speaking to a set age group, we are conveying our point of view to our audience.” A seed of thought, he sows well.

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