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A touch of royalty

Rajitha Menon, Dec 20, 2016, DHNS 0:19 IST

Designer diaries

intricate A 'chikankari lehenga'.
Rich fabrics, intricate detailing, exquisite designs — these are some of the few words that can be used to describe designer Karan Arora’s collection.

His sensational line of clothing, which includes bridal couture and everyday wear, is an example of bespoke craftsmanship as well as his passion for keeping alive regional craftsmanship and handloom textile. The designer took time out from showcasing his winter collection to talk to Rajitha Menon about his journey through the world of fabrics.

What got you interested in designing?
Designing is extremely instinctive for me; it comes without any effort and gives me joy. My work is the reflection of my inner being which looks for harmony and simplicity among the various elements in nature.

What is the USP of your collection?
I guess it would be the originality of the designs, which also includes reinvention of age old crafts. Our signature works include intricate workmanship and merging neutral colours. The design line is a blend of sophisticated embroidery and attention to detail. Our core strength and expertise is in combining indigenous craftsmanship with fine traditional fabrics; something that aids us in our quest to recreate the romance of the rich traditional Indian heritage.

From where do you draw inspiration?
I truly believe in what MF Hussain once said, ‘An artist doesn’t need any inspiration, I can even draw at midnight in the middle of a jungle’. So I would say that my inspiration comes from within; in that way, my designs are the sum total of my beliefs and gut feelings.

A global trend you want to see picking up in India?
The idea of looking beautiful rather than attempting to look different is widespread here. It is disappointing to see people trying too hard to look like somebody else. So being yourself, in fact, being comfortable with the idea of being yourself, is what I want to see here. When it comes to specific trends, minimalism with lavish detailing and maintaining neatness in style are what I wish to see in the times to come.

Which is the one colour that you feel hasn’t got its due?
I feel it is not a single colour, rather it’s the beautiful combination of black and white. I personally believe this fusion is classic, timeless and international. My love for it goes beyond words and has even materialized in a collection
titled ‘The Black And White Jazz’.

Your favourite material to work with and why?
Threads; for the versatility it offers, terms of its functioning and the intricacies you can get out of it during detailing in couture. I love working with it in infinite number of ways, from stitches to craftworks.

There are numerous traditional clothing styles in India? If you could revive one, which one would you choose?
I think I would wish to indulge in the grandeur of the vibrant Haryanvi skirts and ‘kurti’. I have always loved the huge amount of flare the skirt has to offer as well as the awe-inspiring detailing in terms of the workmanship.

A funny backstage story?
(Smiles) Backstage has never been fun to me, there is a lot of serious work going on there. Even though almost all the days are busy and rushed, my team and I make sure to deal with the pressure in a positive manner. It has been my good fortune that I have worked with some really dedicated professionals and I always feel that the face of my brand starts and ends with the smiles on their faces.

One trend you wish had never come here?
That would be fluorescent colours and digital printing; I have never been able to see these without grimacing. Also, teaming up short ‘kurtis’ with lycra leggings is the biggest fashion faux pas in our country.

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