Organic, earthy and fluid are traits that best describe Miloni Vora’s love affair with textiles. With a strong sense of her native Indian state of Gujarat, alongside time spent in urban cities like London, Paris and New York, Vora endeavors to marry tradition with modernity.
A recent graduate of Parsons School of Design, Vora focuses on materiality and innovative fabrics. She incorporates traditional artisanal techniques Aari, Bandhini and Kantha, to enhance the quality, durability and feel of her textiles. Time consuming, intricate yet easy, Vora’s textiles correspond to her silhouette. Envisioning the modern women as both whimsical and practical, the surface treatment is understated yet thoughtful. Subtle use of pastels, sheers and grays dominate much of the color palette. The textiles themselves are a melting pot of indigenous techniques. Combining
modern speciality machines, knowledge with the sound understanding of complex handwork, the end product is idiosyncratic of her design philosophy- chic, urbane, accessible.
Empowering the modern artisan is a continual challenge of Vora’s eponymous design label. Having been raised in a family of textile merchants, the appreciation of the craftsmanship is integral to her body of work. Providing consumers the transparency of the production cycle is a key component of the design practice. Making consumers aware of the instability, insecurity and frameless economic nature of this underbelly of the design sector is critical towards understanding why certain techniques are used over others in the collection. The lack of social welfare, irregular wages and a subsequent decline in pursuing these crafts has contributed to the dwindling cycle of refined handwork. The comprehension of this vicious cycle of consumer ignorance and artisan helplessness is thus key to understanding the necessity to preserve age-old artisan techniques. These techniques are not just of heritage value, but of socio-economic value too. They empower people with skills, consumers with choice, and the global fashion industry with alternatives. Yet, their worth is undermined, and their production exploited. Vora tries to embody just the opposite.
Apart from the geopolitical framework of her textiles, Vora tries to gage the psyche of the millennial consumer. The usage of quirky motifs enhances the playful nature of this dialogue. The seamless lines and effortless contours further contribute to consumer accessibility. But, above all it is the materiality that ties in the ephemeral with the timeless.
The contemporary usage of techniques transforms tradition to relevance, and these dying arts into beacons of longing legacy.