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Estela Magazine: Issue XXIX Cover 2

SS18 Fashion Issue | Cover 2 featuring Runa Ray Issue XXIX www.estelamag.com @estelamag

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Tell us about your SS18 collection; what’s the inspiration behind it? What is the mission statement? RAY: My SS18 collection was about how I as a designer could help the fashion industry reduce carbon footprint and infuse sustainability. I moved away from digital prints and used natural plant dyes to create a juxtaposition with handmade embroideries, leaf and petal prints. Some of the fabrics used were a mix of banana blends, organic cottons, organic silks and bamboo blends. Natural dyes such as onion peel extracts, Indian madder, basil, and turmeric were also used. As a designer I have always tried different methods to reduce carbon footprint. This being my third show at New York Fashion Week for spring, I decided to use the plant itself without killing it or endangering the environment around it. Have any of the current trends influenced this collection? RAY: Botanical prints have been a huge [trend] for the past season, so I decided to take that across. The cross between minimalism and intricate embroidery too was something that I played with. What was your creative process like? Were there any obstacles you were faced with while creating? RAY: The creative process was challenging. As we pressed the chlorophyll onto fabrics such as silks and cottons, the stain would react very differently with every fabric. On certain cottons, they would start aging and the color would change in a few days; on silks, the green would remain. except for rose petals, which gave its natural color. So even yellow flowers that when pressed gave a blue hue. The trial and error was interesting, as it taught me how plant protein reacted on different fabrics and on animal protein such as silk. I am still learning a lot though. Next time I shall tie up with a botanist! Which piece or look is your personal favorite? RAY: I have a lot of pieces that are my favorites, as they have involved intricate handiwork. The aging of natural prints are a beauty to behold, from green turning to brown on cottons, while some were still vividly green on silks. The beauty of this was that the leaves gave an almost fossilized effect when pressed. There is a crop top and skirt which is of mixed media involving leaves and embroidery on banana cotton which still holds my fancy as the embroidery talks of the garden and the visits by bees and other birds. A world that we would love to have our children enjoy. Describe the woman that wears Runa Ray. RAY: The woman who wears my brand is the authentic woman, who would like to know where her clothes come from. A woman who feels responsible for the world she will leave behind. She is sexy, confident and intelligent. What’s next for you? RAY: To explore various unique methods for sustainability, to make sure that all my clothes are decomposable, and to have the ability to give them back to mother earth and create the circle of life once again. Most flowers gave an indigo hue when pressed, ESTELA | 81