Fashion Talk
Vasundhara Kotia

Vasundhara Kotia

Co-founder
Label - Charu & Vasundhara

We stand by the fact that less is more

Charu & Vasundhara is an Indian couture-based label by mother-daughter duo known for its western couture and the artisanal Indian craftsmen. It explores the use of intricate metallic embroideries, sequined patterns, flouncy drapes, and silhouettes. In an interview with Kiran Sahija, the label’s co-founder and designer Vasundhara Kotia narrates her journey, reveals about the embroidery methods utilised in the lable’s collections, and shares her thoughts on digitalisation.

Fibre2Fashion : What motivated a mother-daughter duo to start your own label, and how would you narrate your journey?

Vasundhara Kotia:

This origin story of our label can be traced back to while I was in my final year of college in the UK. I returned to India with a bigger appreciation of Indian craftsmanship and techniques and was interested in exploring these historical techniques with the added outlook of modernity. It seemed like a perfect match to meld old and new, and there it began. Thus came the name, Charu and Vasundhara.

Fibre2Fashion : As a mother-daughter duo, how do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life?

Vasundhara Kotia:

Being a mother-daughter duo has more benefits than drawbacks. Most importantly, we can voice our opinions openly without thinking how it would be interpreted. There will always be some creative differences, but we try to lead them to constructive decisions. Finally, we find ourselves in an opportune position – the perspective of both the old and the new, which helps to strike the right balance.

Fibre2Fashion : How would you define the aesthetics of your latest collection?

Vasundhara Kotia:

Our latest collection started to germinate from our idea to make something subtle, yet glamorous. That’s the foundational aesthetic of our work – following this, and experimenting with other ideas, the embroideries then started falling into place.

Fibre2Fashion : What embroideries methods are utilised, and have you worked with handloom workers while working on any of your previous or upcoming collections?

Vasundhara Kotia:

We have used a variety of beautiful materials and methods in our collections. We have used pearls, cut dana, cheed, sequins, and crystals. We pick colours that complement the embroidery and enhance the look of the outfit. While we are yet to work with handloom workers, our effort in keeping this craft going is by using hand embroideries.

Fibre2Fashion : Where do you find your inspiration from for such an elegant collection? What fashion do you follow?

Vasundhara Kotia:

Being fashionable is what makes one feel confident and good, because fashion is about putting your best foot forward. So, we place high value on our interaction with the clients to create outfits. We also keep ourselves informed of the trends around us to make our clothing in line with what goes today. Lastly, we also look to high street fashion to give us the inspiration to design silhouettes.

Fibre2Fashion : How has digitalisation helped your brand in terms of growth and sales? What are the downsides experienced parallelly?

Vasundhara Kotia:

Digitisation has definitely come as a boon because now we are able to connect with the overseas clients too. People are now willing to buy online. Of course, there is a drawback that customers are unable to see the outfits physically and try it. However, it is an area we understand and try our best to deliver good quality products; and products that look same as in the picture so that there is client satisfaction.

Fibre2Fashion : What is your take on sustainability and how do you include it in your creations?

Vasundhara Kotia:

An important benchmark of sustainability is how consistently wearable and timeless an outfit is. This is particularly important, especially in a fast-moving fashionable world where many don’t want to repeat their looks. We feel our outfits can be mixed and matched, teamed up with other clothes, to give a variety of looks while also being sustainable and climate-conscious at the same time.

Fibre2Fashion : Any style tips that you would like to suggest while wearing ethnic or wedding outfits?

Vasundhara Kotia:

We stand by the fact that less is more. One tip is to keep the accessories minimal, and let the beautiful outfit do the talking, supplemented by the accessories and bringing it to a coherent whole.

Fibre2Fashion : With so many new Indian couture designers coming up, what makes your label stand out?

Vasundhara Kotia:

We do not know much about standing out amongst various labels, but what we do know is that there is enough buzz and activity around our brand which makes us happy and keeps us motivated to go on and be better with each collection.