Ones to watch: NorBlack NorWhite gives ‘Made in India’ a modern edge

After enduring months of sub-zero temperatures, most of us are suffering from winter wanderlust—the desperate desire to be any place where the temperature climbs above ten degrees. While a stamp on our passports might have to wait, we can imagine ourselves in blissfully blistering Kachchh, India thanks to Amrit Kumar and Mriga Kapadiya, the designing duo behind the new label NorBlack NorWhite.

The former Torontonian Mumbai-based designers are on a journey to explore, preserve and celebrate their Indian heritage by reweaving traditional textiles and handiwork into contemporary pieces. Each collection is inspired by a different region, beginning with spring 2011, which takes us to northern Gujarat, where Amrit and Mriga enlisted local artisans to create one-of-a-kind patterns using the traditional bandhani (tie-dye) method.

The designers describe their label as “part anthropology, part art, part fashion.” It’s not one thing or another, not black or white, but a kaleidoscope of colours, cultures and histories. Every piece in their spring collection—which lands at Toronto’s UPC Boutique (128 ½ Cumberland Street, 416-929-9209) next week—is richly inspired and thoroughly modern. Our favourite: a bold-striped bolero refashioned from a 50-year-old Mashru skirt. We can’t wait to get our hands on this handiwork.

View the ultra colourful spring 2011 collection »

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