We had a blast hosting our #MissMaliniHangouts at WIFW autumn/winter ’14 with our fabulous, guest host and fashion stylist extraordinaire, Gautam Kalra. We hung out with some of the biggest names in the Indian fashion and textile industry, and learnt some interestingly fun as well as informative facts about them. We’ve boiled it all down for you, so read on!
Tarun Tahiliani started Emsemble to promote Indian designers in 1987. But it was in 1991 that he studied design and when he really dived into the industry.
When Tarun started, there really wasn’t a ‘fashion industry’ and India had still not switched from just textiles to a proper fashion industry.
Apart from countless Bollywood stars, Tarun has dressed Lady Gaga and Sharon Stone. But he picked Orpah as the most terrific personality he has dressed.
Malini Ramani did her first fashion show at India’s first ever fashion week in 2000!
She wasn’t a fashion designer when Tarun Tahiliani managed to coax her to do 25 outfits for her first show. She just did it! Apart from design, she likes writing, healing arts, food, yoga and interior design.
Ramani writes her own VOs for all her runway showcases. She sees it as an extra layer in the show to bring more feeling, theatricality and finds it “cost effective”. Did you see her spontaneously do one from her past shows, in the video above?
Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna juggle between their extremely successful label CUE and their passion for art that reflects in their gallery, Palette in Delhi. And they’re looking to get into furnishings soon!
Rohit and Rahul’s secret to chic bedazzling metallic garments is that they put their sequins through a certain acid treatment to make them dull and more unique.
Cue doesn’t do separate collections for various markets around the world. In fact, they have one collection to appeal to a global market.
Rohit Bal has been a part of the Indian fashion industry for 25 years. If he wasn’t a designer, he would have been a writer. He likes to write a lot and would love to write poetry or fiction.
Rohit Bal is from Kashmir and he grew up surrounded by lotuses. Hence, his love for them is signified through his branding!
Bal’s favourite fashion eras are the glorious 20s, 30s and the 70s. But he thinks that the current fashion scene is a great mixture of all those years combined and he loves it!
His first solo show was ‘Kashmir’ and is the closest to his heart! He called for bags full of Chinar leaves and the models scattered them all over the audience. Everyone went home with at least a leaf and a beautiful memory.
He owes his success to one of the pioneers of Indian fashion, Rohit Khosla and his brother.
Abraham and Thakore were one of the few designers to start in the West before they came to India and that was 22 years ago! “The market in India is exciting now!” says David Abraham in reference to the current India fashion scene.
It took the duo a long time to participant in fashion weeks in India. It was a willing decision that they took, as soon as they realized that the Indian market was ready and booming with buyers.
They love natural fabrics and cotton makes it to the top of their list.
Abraham and Thakore believe in having one clear idea in their runway shows and the importance of editing looks to keep the show sharp and avoid audiences from losing interest.
The designers voiced their opinions on how strongly they feel the Indian government and corporate companies should support the Indian fashion industry.
Pankaj & Nidhi started in 2006 and showed at fashion week in 2008.
Both Pankaj and Nidhi have worked with Rohit Bal but have maintained their own individual aesthetics in their brand.
Their work, frustratingly so, gets mistaken for prints. But they are actually textures and techniques that are a result of long, intense hours of labour! Having said that, they have now, started making prints to have more people get their chance to own a piece of Pankaj & Nidhi!
According to Pankaj, they would love to be the ‘Coldplay’ of fashion.
Wendell Rodricks recently received the Padma Shri award.
Wendell is an avid traveler and the destinations he visits inspire a lot of his collections.
He starts his design process with his black book where he sketches. He locks himself in a room and cuts off from the world. And while the collection is strong in his head, he plans his show with the music and everything else.
Being based in Goa where access to a particular choice of fabrics is limited as compared to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, Wendell pre-plans his collections to the dot. He orders in his fabrics, 3 months before actually he starts his collection.
Namrata Joshipura went to NIFT Delhi with Rajesh Pratap Singh, Manish Arora and Payal Pratap Singh.
When Gautam Kalra asked her if there was a celebrity she would love to dress. She instantly said Brad Pitt, but would settle for Angelina Jolie as she doesn’t do menswear (yet!)
According to Namrata, NYC defined her as a designer. She moved there in her 20s and lived there for 10 years!
Namrata is fascinated by sci-fi and it continued into her Grand Finale show at WIFW a/w 14.
So those were a few but interesting details that we learnt about these designers. If you wish to watch all our #MissMaliniHangouts, then be sure to click here! Stay tuned for all our fashion updates and if there is something you would like us to ask a particular designer, do tell us in the comments below!