A fashion soiree

A fashion soiree

Designer's diary

She started her journey over 15 years back and today Archana Kochhar is best known for her global design sensibilities. After showcasing the New York Fashion Week last year, she is all set to showcase her new collection, ‘A Tale of Two Travels’, at the FTL Moda New York Fashion Week on September 8. Ahead of the show, the designer, who supports the “Bring Beauty Back” initiative and will have acid attack survivor Reshma Banoo Qureshi walking the ramp for her, talks to Shweta Sharma about her latest collection, design inspirations, and season’s trends.

What is the collection all about?
‘A Tale of Two Travels’ is a mélange of two capsule collections inspired from my travels across India. One of the inspirations is derived from the villages of the colourful nomadic tribe Banjara, and the other from the breathtaking Taj Mahal. Blending these two varied inspirations for the capsule collections was an interesting challenge.
The silhouettes of both collections comprise of cold shoulder crop tops, capelets, flared bell-bottoms, flared skirts, pencil skirts, high-waist shorts, paperbag skirts, dhoti pants, structured gowns, keyhole gowns, and jumpsuits.

Can you talk about the collections in detail?
The collection inspired by Banjara is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative. For this, I have worked with different artisans from across India, and have tried to revive and re-energise different art forms, some of which are dying. The translation of the collection is modern, keeping the essence of Banjara, a tribe which is known for their craft using vibrant, mesmerising colors and rustic mirror work, intact.
The colour palette of this collection is black and white offset with embellishments of multicoloured thread work, and mirror work.
My second collection is inspired by the finest floral patterns and carvings of the Taj Mahal along with the rich and buoyant colors of India.

Why did you decide to have Reshma Qureshi walk for you?
The initiative of “Bring Beauty Back” is all about inclusion of all kinds of beauty. Beauty, I feel, is not something that is external, rather something that comes from within.
Platform such as fashion weeks are taken as benchmarks for beauty, hence it’s important to promote this concept of “inclusion of all kind of beauty” here and change the stereotypical thinking of people. Reshma was the perfect choice as she, in her own way, has been working extensively for a similar cause of supporting acid-attack survivors.

What, according to you, will be the season’s trends?
The trends that are to be watched out this season are cold/off shoulder cape, paperbag waist pants, capelets and bell-bottoms.

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