When Sreejith Jeevan introduced his Rouka label (it means bodice in Malayalam) during the Lakmé Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2014 Gen Next show it was evident that he was a designer to watch out for because of his unconventional fabric treatment and motifs. Alumni of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Ecole Nationale Superieuere Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, Sreejith Jeevan’s label ‘Rouka’ has a strong creative base that moves from weaver to wearer. Putting an emphasis on the work of handloom weavers, women embroiderers and differently-abled painters who created the artistic buttons, Sreejith’s collection called ‘Weather Forecast’ for Summer/Resort 2014 was inspired by the romantic rain of picturesque Kerala.
Quaintly styled in cloudy grey, dull brown and white with motifs of umbrellas, raindrops, paper boats, engines and cars; the outfits had a perky young appeal. Hip length Tees, preppy dresses, pleated pants, rustic skirts, cropped jackets and casual tunics looked ideal for the young-at-heart dresser.
With Kerala fabrics as his base, Sreejith loves to work with colours like navy, black, white, blue and red. His latest collection is nameless but with textiles as the focal point that are handcrafted by artisans of Aranya Natural, Munnar and the others come from various clusters in Kerala or Tamil Nadu.
Keeping the beauty of Shibori in mind and the sensibilities of the craft, Shreejith uses a mix of naturally dyed Shibori along with resist dyeing techniques like batik and ombré dyeing to create engineered pieces for his collection. He also makes clever use of Arashi, Nui and Itajime Shibori that adds to the charm of the creations.
The silhouettes are relaxed and easy with shades of indigo at the centre of attraction. There is a Japanese Zen like look for his garments that have a timeless quality that can move from season to season with great ease.
With his studio in Kochi, Sreejith is in surroundings that feature nature and inspire him to create the comfort wear that is stylish and artistic.