"Race to the Finale with Kallol Datta" - Part 1

Marv D'Souza , 21 Jun 2012
Kallol Datta
Kallol Datta

Kallol Datta is probably one of India’s finest young talents in Fashion. I tried to corner him into answering a few questions to get a taste of who he really is. With a vision often misinterpreted as dark, he manages to hold up a quirky sense of humour in his garments. Kallol along with contemporaries, Pankaj & Nidhi will be doing the Grand Finale collection at Lakmé Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2012.

So fashionistas and faux-pas cadets, I present you the “real” Kallol Datta!

Marv : Who are you?

Kallol: The heaviest fashion designer in India.

M: Heavy and so warm-fuzzy!!! You’ve been in fashion since…?

K: Nift Kolkata in 2001-2004, and Central St. Martins London 2004-2006. Started my label Kallol Datta 1955 in 2008.

M: Why fashion?

K: It’s the only thing I know how to do. I’ve studied design for 5 years, apprenticed for 2 years and it’s all I know.

Runway looks from Kallol's showing at LFW in past seasons
Runway looks from Kallol's showing at LFW in past seasons

M: I’ve seen you before and after most of your show, you’re always frantically fanning yourself. Butterflies?

K: Always and how! I break into hives before every runway showing. Panic attacks and the likes. I still don’t feel comfortable in putting out my garments onto the runway for people to view. Initially, it felt intrusive, now am slowly learning to deal with it.

M: I know you don’t have ‘muses’, at the risk of pushing buttons… your muses are…

K: … None really. I’ve never had a muse or woman in mind while creating a line of clothes. It’s always about the storyline/ narrative or a form of social commentary.

M: From 2008 to 2012, hundreds of press interviews and questions. One question you’re tired of?

K: ‘What are the latest trends for XYZ season?’

with Model friend, Surelee Joseph
Friends, on and off the runway, Kallol shares a moment with Surelee Joseph

M: Ha Ha. So once the show is done and lights go off, the Kallol Dutta is….

K: My friends know me best, and they claim I am extremely boring. I can live with that however. I can’t be bothered going to multiple events in one night, air kissing people… I rather be with friends indoors, just talking and eating.

(Kallol stayed the day at my house the day he had his meeting with Lakmé, we had his favourite McDonalds Filet-O-Fish and talked!)

M: When I first heard of you doing the LFW Grand Finale, I jumped for joy and then I was scared. It is a big deal!!! Your first form of expression?

K: Disbelief. Designer’s like me who get slotted into certain brackets for whatever reasons don’t normally do a finale. It does feel good though.

M: Now I know you have a few tricks up your sleeve, and I won’t coax you to tell me. But what can one expect this time… give us the tip of the iceberg?

K: My signature all over the line coupled with a few surprises.

M: Be a bit self-indulgent and answer this one. When Kallol Datta makes a garment, he makes….

K: … them real slow.

Artist Mithu Sen, the one Indian Celebrity Kallol would love to dress
Artist Mithu Sen, the one Indian Celebrity Kallol would love to dress

M: Do you have an Indian Celebrity you’d love to dress?

K: Mithu Sen

M: A piece in a certain magazine said that you don’t do bling or bodycon. Explain?

K: It’s not that I am against bling and bandage dresses. It’s just that they don’t come naturally to me. I am able to appreciate a bling garment but I wouldn’t attempt one in the near future.

M: As a Fashion personality, what scares you the most?

K: Runway showing and interacting with the media.

M: The media can be an annoying 5 year-old at times. Sorry ‘bout that. Moving on … a happy thought in fashion?

K: Always. Contrary to popular beliefs, my clothes stem from a happy place. There is humour in my collections all the time.

Wish I was a Punk Rocker?
Wish I was a Punk Rocker?

M: If not in fashion then…?

K: I’d be playing the drums in an unsigned band?!!!

Kallol and me at LFW fittings
Kallol and me goofing around at LFW fittings

M: Not a drumstick but for now you have a signature personal style that you don’t let go of… ever!!!

K: My Hand Fan.

M: For the past few seasons, a few Kallol Datta look-a-likes have been spotted, your tip or notes to them would be…

K: Good on them. I’d love to meet them face to knuckle.

Stay tuned for more updates here on MissMalini, as we start our “Race to the Finale with Kallol Datta”.

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