Bicoastal designer Neha Kapur Nayyar takes an understated approach both to design as well as to building her brand Hensely, which she launched two years ago in Los Angeles. The former dancer and Miss India has kept simplicity and movement at the forefront of her collection, creating a seasonless wardrobe using a neutral palette punctuated by rust and olive.
Her spring 2018 collection was inspired by the sybaritic lifestyle of Gloria Vanderbilt. “I was reading her biography on a flight from L.A. to New York and thought, ‘This larger-than-life, pleasure-seeking person is whose eyes I want on my collection,'” said Kapur Nayyar.
Instead of making a statement with color or pattern, Hensely focuses on textures — such as frayed jacquard or shimmering platinum silk — and architectural forms, such as her interpretation of the white cotton shirt in several forms, from a trapeze top paired with palazzo pants to a slim dress.
From the beginning, the collection has included long bias-cut skirts worn with easy tops or structured jackets, such as the white cotton version with buckle details at the waist and shoulder that could work well for a modern city bride. Also ever-present are shapes that harken back to her native New Delhi, such as a silk blouse sporting an exaggerated sleeve that mimics the drape of a sari. Tunics over pants are also a recurrent theme, this time rendered as a light gray Sixties-style shift over slim cropped trousers.
As Kapur Nayyar put it, “None of the pieces are meant to overwhelm a woman’s closet, but to live with the pieces she already owns.”