'Bangalore's personality is very different'

'Bangalore's personality is very different'

Tarun Tahiliani has come a long way since his first solo show in London in 1994. Today, he is a man who needs no introduction among the fashionistas of India, be it for his bridal or non-bridal collections.

Metrolife catches up with the Mumbai-based fashion designer.
One of the prominent trends in the fashion scene in India, according to him, is how people end up being very Indian one day and Western the next. “If you’re an Indian, you’ve got to find your own way. This is the kind of thing that you learn straight out of Bollywood — they either make a heroine over-ethnic or super cool Western,” says a disappointed Tahiliani. “Why can’t you be cool in the middle, as one should be? If you want to wear a jacket with a dhoti, mix it up and make your own identity. For me, that’s a
cool person – not trying to be one or the other,” shares the designer.

When it comes to accessorising, the man believes that there is a lot of scope for trial and error because there is no one universally accepted way to use an accessory. “I’ve seen that people are wearing much less jewellery on a day-to-day basis. If you’re running around, going to office and doing things, who has the time? People are wearing a lot more fun and experimental things as ornamentation these days. It’s not about the value. They’ll wear a mother of pearl bangle with a ruby or a rudraksh mala if they like it on them,” he explains.

The busy designer seems to love Bangalore models. On pressing this topic, he reveals, “Earlier, models used to have their own personality and could be differentiated from each other, unlike the case today. I see that old character in some of Bangalore’s models.”

He also talks about the culture-induced fashion in this City. “Bangalore’s personality is very different to, say, Hyderabad. People wear what they want and dress up or down in casuals or formals depending on their mood. That’s fine! You don’t owe it to anybody to be anything but that,” advises Tahiliani.

Currently, he is working on a variety of projects. “We’re opening our big bridal show, which is the couture exhibition and working on the ready-to-wear range which will be shown at Fashion Week. I simultaneously take on many things because I like to move between different things,” he says.

In all his heavily detailed creations, one can see that Tahiliani understands the female form in all its glory. But does he have a tried-and-tested formula for what will suit the ‘typical Indian woman’? “It’s difficult to generalise about a style of India because of the kind of variety there is. But one thing is common — when they’re getting married, suddenly all I hear is ‘I want to be like Jodhaa Akbar’,” laughs the man who has revolutionised the fashion sense of Indians.

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