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    Chennai Fashion Label Innovates with ‘Intelligent Cotton’ in Knitwear Collection

    The debut Chennai Fashion collection features sweatshirts, jackets, lined camisoles, dresses, shorts, pants, co-ords, skirts, and oversized T-shirts

    “It’s pronounced ‘along’. Because clothes are always with you,” says Chennai Fashion Nithya Prakas of her just- launched label Alonge. “We added the ‘e’ so it is easier to find us on the the search engine,” she laughs.

    After completing a course in Fashion Technology from PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore, in 2007, Nithya waited 17 years before starting her label. “This had always been my dream. But my children were very young and I didn’t want to get into it till they were able to take care of themselves”, she says.

    Alonge is a knitwear brand that mirrors the aesthetics of quiet luxury. The designs are minimal and elegant. “It is a slow process and more of an innovation project. Knitwear is made of cotton but our clothes are made of iCotton (intelligent cotton), a material we developed. It’s got the shine of polyester and the softness ofviscose; is stretchable and breathable,” says Nithya, adding that the clothes also incorporate the flow motion technology, where the fabric is fluid and flows with the wearer’s every move.

    One-and-a-half years of research went into creating iCotton. Nithya wore garments made with this fabric for a year before introducing it to the market. Once the material was developed and tested, the next step was to make it fashionable and trendy.

    At Alonge, we value quality over anything else; that is our USP, says Nithya. “Even after 50-plus washes, our garments look brand new. I believe in investing in everyday clothes,” she adds.

    The debut collection features sweatshirts, jackets, lined camisoles, knee-grazing dresses, shorts, pants, co-ords, skirts, oversized T-shirts in ecru, black, white, warm pink, lavender, blue, grey, and green. Florals appear prominently with blooms ranging from hibiscus to protea and birds of paradise — hand painted, embroidered, embellished with metal threads.

    There is a lot of focus on hand embroidery and stitches. For example, their show-stopper sweatshirt — one of Nithya’s personal favourites — has flowers that took eight hours to embroider, using sequins and beads. While the designing happens in Chennai, the unit is in Tiruppur and the materials come from all over the world including beads and sequins from Japan, lining from Germany, and zips from Hong Kong.

    Nithya has started work on the next collection. The mood board on the wall of her studio offers hints as to what it might be. And by the looks of it there will be more florals. “And more attention to detail,” she says, adding, “This is my personal style translated into patterns. We also want to work with natural fibres in the future.”

    The price range starts at ₹3,990 and goes up to ₹19,000. Available on alonge.in.

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