Rescha Is A Label That Blends The Sophistication Of Indian Craft With French Elegance

Rescha Is A Label That Blends The Sophistication Of Indian Craft With French Elegance

The Bindi Bandana from Rescha is a piece that epitomises the brand and its founder’s identity — multicultural but truly Indian and traditionally inspired with a contemporary eye. The hand-embroidered Bandana is crafted by hand in their atelier, in cotton mesh features beads and details, and is outlined with silk. The pieces crafted by Charlotte Chowdhury for her label straddle a thin line masterfully. Growing up between France and India, her exposure to a multitude of heritage and cultural influences has seeped into the very fabric of her label Rescha and its ethos of wanting to capture a distinctly multicultural identity. 

The knitwear designer started the luxury fashion brand Rescha after graduating from Central Saint Martins and working with developing textiles at Jacquemus. Through the label, she creates pieces that depict her experience of being deeply connected to her Indian and French culture. The pieces all communicate a personal narrative that addresses notions of identity, and multiculturalism, but also employ traditional artisanal textile techniques. According to their website, “Traditional craftsmanship is an obsession for Charlotte. This passion leads her to always put fabrics at the centre of the development process. Each garment is made through conscious manufacturing, supporting local artisans and ensuring minimal waste.” Rescha as a word is a direct reference to the word ‘resha’ which means yarn in Hindi. The brand name is another aspect that directly refers to the founder’s dedication to carefully choosing each yarn for their pieces - specifically only using deadstock and sustainable fibres. 

Rescha Is A Label That Blends The Sophistication Of Indian Craft With French Elegance
French Artistry & Indian Craftsmanship Come Together At This Pondicherry Atelier

The focal point for Rescha as a label and for Charlotte as a designer is the fabric itself. They play around with the techniques, textures and even their interplay with other materials and their movement and even the interaction of varying fabrics to craft the best quality, original pieces. In an earlier feature for Vogue India, the founder credits her love for knitwear to the Sonia Rykiel pieces that her mum would purchase from Vintage shops, as well as her time at design school where spent learning the nuances of textile-making techniques. But if one asks her about the Indian elements, she would talk about the audaciousness and glamour of Bollywood and Indian textiles that she loves, and seek to marry it with her French sensibilities to create garments that cater for a global audience through her unique, original lens. 

The label is also resolute in its dedication towards sustainability, partnering with ethical factories, and supporting smaller ateliers, in addition to choosing its materials carefully and using techniques that minimise wastage. With the concept of the production process taking multiple meetings and collaborative work with artisans, they often take months to finalise. In her attempt to link her dual personal identity, she uses Rescha as a platform to express them. Deconstructing both traditional Indian and French influences, materials and techniques such as zardozi work and lace-making in the same breath, she creates modern, timeless pieces. 

“The cultural differences I grew up with are at the core of what the brand represents. With Rescha, I want to prove that both worlds can coexist. From a gamcha design knitted through traditional French intarsia to embroideries embellishing a classic knitted lace dress, both cultures find references in our pieces.”

Charlotte Chowdhary, Vogue India, March ‘23

The label’s debut collection Un/एक, combined deadstock fabrics with French silhouettes and Indian embroidery techniques, reflecting Chowdhury's vision of blending classic elements from both cultures. The Deux/दो collection by Rescha drew inspiration from classic men's wardrobes in India, featuring shapes and fabrics typically used but exclusively crafted from deadstock material. This second collection launched in late 2023 aimed to challenge the perceptions of men's roles in public spaces and at home. The images from the collection featured women in Parisian suburbs, streets, and houses wearing these 'traditional masculine' pieces to reflect on this theme.

Rescha Is A Label That Blends The Sophistication Of Indian Craft With French Elegance
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Most recently, Rescha showcased a collection of custom football jerseys created for Puma and was photographed in Jaipur. A befitting movie choice to communicate the place of South Asian culture in England in the 1990s, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ served as the inspiration for the collection. The collection titled ‘Bend it like Rescha’ spoke a complicated narrative that explores the relationship between multiple cultures. As someone who grew up watching the movie, Charlotte had a personal connection to the movie and felt that it was one of the few movies that she saw that represented a story akin to her family's. She also felt a strong resonance with the internal conflict of the protagonist and created the football journey inspired by those who pursue their dreams relentlessly. 

At the core of Rescha, there is an extremely personal and relatable pursuit of seeking belonging when one is multicultural. Through her designs, Charlotte Chowdary hopes to cater to those individuals who have options of clothes aplenty but want something truly original. And what’s more original than something that combines Indian craftsmanship and French elegance simultaneously to bridge cultural divides through attire? 

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