'I do not follow trends'

'I do not follow trends'

'I do not follow trends'

A management student, Archana Kochhar stumbled upon fashion designing by accident. A veteran face in the Indian fashion industry for over a decade now, she is known for her global design sensibilities, especially in bridal wear and has dressed to perfection many beautiful brides including celebrities. 

Always on her toes, Archana recently took part in the grand finale of India Fashion Week Dubai and shares, “For this event, I worked alongside Pakistani designer Deepak Perwani. This was a great opportunity as I like the works of Deepak. And it was a constructive event as it  brought two countries together in a very substantial manner.”

Her designs on this platform were divided into three categories and focussed on shadow work, banjara designs and silk works (she specifies that the silk used was manufactured without killing silk worms). “There are chances of people getting bored looking at the same designs and patterns throughout the show. Hence, I had the three categories. Also, since this was a huge platform, my aim was to promote the traditional arts of India.”

Pastel colours, intricate embroideries, traditional artworks and modern cuts — her designs are unique and are a perfect blend of exquisite embroideries, nouveau texturing techniques and new technologies, wrapped in traditional roots. She has associated herself with many traditional artisans and has given them a platform to create a niche for their artworks. She has worked closely with artisans from five villages and has inculcated the traditional ‘banjara’ and shadow works in all her designs. “I even train students from 13 colleges and impart the necessity of reviving the traditional art of our country,” she says. Her innovation and quirkiness in designs have attracted the big-wigs in the industry, which has given her an opportunity to dress to elegance many Bollywood stars including Sonakshi Sinha, Kangana Ranaut, Shraddha Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri. “All of them are fabulous. While our work is our identity, these stars have their own identity. Their body language and how they carry themselves is admirable and inspiring. I have learnt a lot from all the stars I have worked with,” she shares.

With a cognomen label, her brand has a collection of bridal wears, pret wears, saris, gowns and resort wears for the men too. So, what keeps her going and what does not fail to inspire her? “Travel plays a large role in my work. I take inspiration from my travels and whatever touches my heart will reflect in my designs,” she says.  

While comfort is her style mantra, she says “Earlier, the Indian fashion industry looked up to the West for different trends. But now, we are on par with the West. It is amusing how each one of us gets inspired by the same thing at the same time and that is how it becomes a trend. As designers, we refer the colour chart on the internet, but I personally do not follow trends.” An inspiration to the budding designers, she advises, “Fashion designing has evolved over the years and is not restricted to just designing clothes. There are options open for stylists, photographers and many more. So, go explore all the options and find your niche.”

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