Azhar Makhatova + Alexandra Ilyina: An Ethereal Approach to Handmade Clothing
Words by Dhivyaa Chelvan
The duo behind Radha Talisman Dress, Azhar and Alexandra began their journey when they first met in a Vedic cultural seminar a few years ago. They instantly connected and decided to work together. Born out of Azhar’s dream to design her own fashion collection, and inspired by the eternal wisdom of Radha (the female embodiment of divine energy and the personification of outer and inner beauty that is inherent in a woman), they created this line to portray feminine, elegant, and ethereal silhouettes coupled with minimalism drawn from the traditional elements of different cultures. The clothing, designed in Italy by the two are artisan-made in Central Asia with ethically sourced natural fabrics in small quantities.
Azhar has developed a strong preference for handmade clothing from her early modelling career and is inclined towards the imperfection in the color and characteristics of natural fabrics that makes each piece unique. Instead of just dressing the bodies, she wanted to create clothing that would wrap them in a loving energy. Similar to how food cooked with joy or hatred would have a difference in taste, she strongly believes that a dress sewn with love would envelope the body with an energy of the creator as well as the wearer- and the brand emphasizes on the positive energy carried on from artisan culture as well as the quality of fabrics sourced from different places.
The Spring Summer 2018 collection is made from 100% linen from the native country of Alexandra, Belarus (which is traditionally known for production of linen textiles), and the designs are inspired from many pieces of art and spiritual lifestyle. Alexandra helps Azhar in the creative process and works closely with their artisans throughout every step of production. As each of the Radha dresses is made with a wish that it would serve as a talisman to protect the wearer, they are stamped with a Sanskrit mantra that is described in the sacred books to possess a great protective power.
In the near future, Radha Talisman Dress will also include accessories and Kazakh style homeware collections. And as always, the brand will focus on ethically sourced materials and empower Central Asian artisans.