Zinnia Kumar Wears Supriya Lele’s Color-coded Sheer Clothes

The sari’s asymmetrical drape is found in the twisted tissue-like wrap of a dress. It’s a vision that is curated from a place that is familiar yet far removed. “A gesture, not an appropriation,”

Zinnia Kumar Wears Supriya Lele's Color-coded Sheer Clothes - SurgeZirc India
Zinnia Kumar Wears Supriya Lele's Color-coded Sheer Clothes

Zinnia Kumar – Supriya Lele’s sinuous sheer pieces wrap across the body, revealing hip, bone, curve, and crevice. It’s the type of clothing that can reveal too much and too little at the same time.

It’s a week after her first Vogue India cover shoot, where photographer Dan Jackson, stylist Kate Phelan, and model-activist Zinnia Kumar discover new perspectives in the designer’s color-coded clothes when Lele and I connect via Zoom.

Zinnia Kumar Wears Supriya Lele's Color-coded Sheer Clothes - SurgeZirc India
Zinnia Kumar in Supriya Lele

What distinguishes the Royal College of Art alumna and her oeuvre of whisper-thin organza pieces today, five years after launching her label in London is the focused female gaze she brings to the industry. For example, consider the slinkiest pieces from her spring/summer 2022 collection, which she handpicked for this co-created cover shoot.

“Sexy…” she says, letting the word linger, before continuing, “is so subjective. Confidence is sexy. Attitude, vibe, and spirit can all be sexy.” It is serendipitous then, that the subject for her brave clothing is modern multi-hyphenate and fellow South Asian Zinnia Kumar. “I think Zinnia embodies the essence of what I am trying to say with my brand,” explains Lele.

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It’s also an inference I made after watching her show in London in September last year. Far from the maximalist, magpie India we have often seen represented in fashion rhetoric, what the LVMH prize winner serves up is a rethought and remixed version of our country. Celebration is seen in bold strokes of color.

Zinnia Kumar Wears Supriya Lele's Color-coded Sheer Clothes - SurgeZirc India
Zinnia poses for Vogue

The sari’s asymmetrical drape is found in the twisted tissue-like wrap of a dress. It’s a vision that is curated from a place that is familiar yet far removed. “A gesture, not an appropriation,” she explains.

Working with new creatives each time, she tells me why India will always have her heart. “What’s happening in India right now is so exciting. There are creatives and artists breaking rules and doing incredible things that aren’t on the global map just yet,” she says, having wrapped up a collaboration with Delhi- based photographer Sohrab Hura for her spring/summer 2022 campaign.

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