Travel and culture come alive in Vancouver-based designer’s collections

Jul 6 2019, 6:24 am

Shopping for formal occasions often requires a lot of thought as you ask yourself whether you’ll realistically wear the outfit again, how you would pair it with items already in your wardrobe, and so forth.

Taran Hayer, the Vancouver-based designer behind Mahari Collection, is helping shoppers make more conscious decisions by creating beautiful pieces that can be worn both casually and for special occasions.

Hayer first took a textiles class in high school and it quickly became the highlight of her school life, leading her to study fashion and textiles management at Nottingham Trent University. In 2012, she moved to Vancouver after completing her degree and began designing clothes at the weekend while working full-time.

What started out as a hobby quickly became Hayer’s full-time passion and in 2015, she officially launched Mahari Collection, bringing her experience working in the fast-paced fashion industries of London and New York to Vancouver.

“Being second generation of Indian parents, I felt like there was a huge gap in the market when it came to clothes which represented the identity of growing up with two different cultures,” says Taran Hayer. She explains that many of her friends felt the same way, which inspired her to start designing pieces which were a mix of her British and Indian heritage.

Passionate about travelling, Hayer draws inspiration for her designs from the places she’s visited. “I’ve been fortunate enough to visit India on many occasions and I am always inspired by the architecture, culture, markets, and rich history.”

Flowing silhouettes, pastel colours, and elegant embroideries, can be found across the designer’s collections, which have been featured in Vogue and at Vancouver Fashion Week. Now serving a global client base, Mahari Collection also has its own line of hand-embroidered clutches and jewellery.

The fabrics used in Mahari Collection garments vary, with the most recent S/S 2019 Wallflower collection using cottons, block-printed silks, organzas, and tulle. Hayer also incorporates traditional Indian embroideries such as zardozi (metal) and mukaish (metallic threads) embroidery.

“There is such a vast amount of craftsmanship in India and it’s important to me to support those industries by incorporating hand embroideries into the designs,” Hayer tells Daily Hive.

Mahari Collection offers wearers versatility and the ability to mix and match their pieces, which is something that comes from Hayer’s love of doing the same thing and drawing inspiration from her Indian heritage into her everyday style.

“My friends and I often found we were spending a lot of money on outfits we would wear one time. Therefore, I decided to price my designs separately and create collections which encourage versatility.” Mahari Collection tops start at $95, trousers and skirts at $215, and an entire outfit can range from $310 to $980 depending on the style. In terms of accessories, clutch bags range from $45 to $95.

Hayer explains that investing in quality pieces made to fit your body, which can be worn repeatedly, is a huge plus. The designer strives to make each piece special and unique, which is why she also offers a “made-to-measure service” to custom make garments to fit all body types.

“I always love hearing from clients who are excited to share how they’ve styled their purchases in new and interesting ways. Such as pairing a Mahari embroidered top with ripped jeans for a night out, or a Mahari printed duster as a cover-up for a beach vacation.”

Some of Hayer’s favourite looks from her Wallflower collection are the Navi top and Taya ruffle skirt, as well as the Sonika top and Chanderi print skirt, as she likes the look of “clashing embroidery with prints” this season.

The talented designer believes that “we all have a part to play across the fashion industry” in reducing our impact on the environment.

“Fast fashion is an unsustainable design and buying cycle we should aim to move away from,” she adds. As most of her designs are made-to-order, it allows for the “tactical planning of fabric consumption” to avoid excess waste, while also encouraging clients to invest in pieces for quality and longevity.

Discover more looks from Mahari Collection on Instagram.

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