Inspired as much by poetry as by the flow of lines, Joe Ikareth makes a limited series of garments using artisanal techniques. "The body in motion invigorates me. I enjoy working with dancers and musicians". And so he combines pattern making clothes with a strong focus on movement to design contemporary clothing.
Born in 1974, Joe Ikareth studied design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi where he obtained the prize for the 'Best Design Collection' in 1996. He then worked with the couturier Suneet Varma. During this time he got involved with creating costumes for various contemporary dance performances. Movement became an integral part of the designs to follow.
In 2000 Joe decided to relocate to Kerala, his native land where he created his own label, Joe Ikareth. His first collection was presented in Paris in 2001 at the Studio Cirque during a defilé-spectacle where dancers, acrobats and musicians performed in costumes designed by him.
"The experience of designing clothes for dance companies led me into experimenting in innovative design directions, designing clothes with a strong focus on movement. This has become an integral part of my design for contemporary clothing. We apply this concept to all our uniform designs as well."
Joe Ikareth's clothes can be distinguished by the sobriety of their cuts, structure, and the purity of their lines. Using traditional Indian techniques of embroidery and woodprint, he creates designs that are contemporary. Mixing elegance with ease in movement, the clothes are linked to the present rhythm of life.
Inspired by traditional Kerala fabrics, his cotton handloom collection employs the creamy coolness of this hand woven fabric. Fusing clean lines and intricate detail, the bias-cut dresses, structured tunics, corset tops and quirky skirt-trousers showcase Joe's dexterous creativity. These clothes are a pleasure to wear and a delight to look at.
With a small team of tailors and seamstresses, in his modest atelier, in a quiet neighborhood studded with coconut palms, Joe tucks, seams and pleats the fine details of his sophisticated collection. Each piece is meticulously finished.
All pieces are one of a limited series using natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, linen and their blends.
Joe applies his experience in pattern making to create uniform designs for various institutes like hotels, hospitals and schools.
Joe has co-created Move Ability Clothing to provide clothing and accessories solutions for differently abled people. This he believes is an answer to their need for ease in dressing and undressing. The motivation for this project is based on his experience with his daughter Tilotama, who has a partially paralyzed right arm, amongst a host of other disabilities. He has developed clothes that allow her a sense of independence, develop her confidence and also to change the way people look at differently abled people.
His aim is to create clothes that can be equitably, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed.
His boutique in Fort Kochi regularly features guest accessories designers who compliment the Joe Ikareth sense of style.
His clothes are also available at 'Grasshopper' in Bangalore, 'Ensemble' in Delhi, 'Amethyst' in Chennai, 'Teatro Dhora' in Jaipur and 'Sosas' in Goa.