Fashion Label Eka’s Spring Collection 'Kohima' Is A Timeless Ode To Studio Ghibli

Fashion Label Eka’s Spring Collection 'Kohima' Is A Timeless Ode To Studio Ghibli

As I listen to Carpe Diem by Abdon Mech, a Nagaland-origin musician, I think of picture-perfect spring days, winding mountain roads and running around in gossamer gowns paired with bright cardigans. Of bows, brooks and walking, everywhere. Perhaps it's his hometown beauty that translates through his music. Kohima in Nagaland is the ideal choice for those who seek a sweet, slow escape, like the one I described. Eka, a design studio founded by Rina Singh is driven by her personal values that are rooted in the timeless appeal of simplicity. 

She was influenced both by her upbringing within a family of agriculturalists, as well as her extensive travels that ranged from remote parts of India to fashion capitals of the world. Drawing from the people, sights, experiences and learnings from this time, she keeps craft and nature at the core of Eka. The acclaimed designer with a whole host of awards and recognitions to her name from being a runner-up for the International Woolmark prize to being awarded The Vogue Power List - Minimalist Designer of the Year in 2019, now works with her husband Sandeep Dua who is the MD of Eka, from their studio in Gurgaon. 

Envisioned as a travelogue, Eka’s latest collection is a manifestation of the brand’s overall philosophy to observe everyday life from a closer lens and find elements to draw inspiration from. For Spring Summer ‘24, they turned to the verdant, dreamy Kohima in Nagaland, renowned for its spiralling lanes, dreamy blue sky and warm people. The pastel palette for the collection is referred to as being ‘saccharine-toned’ or ‘watercolour-like’ by the Eka team, while the silhouettes are deemed ‘nostalgic’.

The cottage core-esque pieces from the Kohima collection are also a nod to the surreal serenity one might find in the quiet corners of the city that might be akin to the whimsical world of Studio Ghibli. In dusty pinks, off-whites and pale blues with block prints and floral motifs, in fabrics from Kota Weaves to Light lines and from Khadhi to Cotton Silk blends, the Kohima collection features attires with soft layers in unconventional silhouettes and adapts to the wearer's body and movement.

“Kohima is a mood that is developed from the Ghibli aesthetic. Which was the main inspiration for our spring summer 24 collection — the chalky pastels, the light layers and the cottage core style ideation.  At EKÁ we drop pin locations across India to also cover the cultural and aesthetic sense of the country alongside our textiles. The backdrop of Indian cities renders itself beautifully to communicate - the EKÁ mood to the world.  We found Kohima - the city - a perfect backdrop to execute this campaign shoot and present it at the show by creating a live set inspired by the city of Kohima. An old city with a young spirit. A setting straight out of a Ghibli film.”

Rina Singh

She went further into her thought process while speaking to Homegrown and mentioned extensively about how the Japanese film genre finds an unlikely compatriot in the quiet corners of Kohima and how a sense of cottage core unreels itself, which she has attempted to capture through the collection. This sense of whimsy and the yearning for a slower life that threads through the whole collection is apparent in the styling of the collection as well, with the comfortable, anti-fit and craft-forward paired with Ghibli-inspired backpacks, bows, ballet flats and more, to highlight those that wear them. This collection that showcases a slower pace of life, and is inspired by the many facets of Kohima, is ultimately meant for those who love soft edges, and lightness, but cherish comfort and craft, in the same breath too.

Explore the collection here.

Follow Eka here.

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