A return to black and white

Classic touch

A return to black and white

Designer Payal Jain is known to effortlessly blend rare and rich Indian craftsmanship with modern Western silhouettes to create some of the most chic and royal outfits.

Her passion is clearly reflected in the precise detailing and techniques used in her work. With an experience of 23 years in the industry, she has been successful in coming up with some of the most timeless designs.

In a chat with Surupasree Sarmmah, the dynamic designer talks about her latest collection, inspirations and things she wants to strike off her bucketlist.   

Fashion designing is a creative job, but it also has a commercial aspect to it. How do you balance the two?

Honesty and integrity towards what you like and being in love with what you have created is the primary thing to keep in mind. Though there is also a commercial aspect attached to it, the creative aspect of the profession always comes first for me. If I am only working for commercial profits, then I don’t think I will be doing justice to the profession.

What do you have in mind while working on a new collection?

There is no rulebook that has to be followed in fashion designing. In fact, one cannot plan anything, it is just experience that eventually gives one a clear perspective of what one wants in their next collection. For me, it can be a simple things like nature, artworks, artists, colours or even the history of a place. 

What do you love about this profession?

I love everything about this profession. I am passionate about what I do; perhaps that is why I am what I am today. Even after 23 years, I eagerly wait to get my hands on a fabric everyday. I actually don’t see myself doing anything else.

Your latest collection looks classic...

The collection is called ‘Vintage Wardrobe’ and every piece in this line reflects an old-world charm. My motive was to bring in a vintage feel and look to the collection, which I have been successful in showcasing.

There is a bit of randomness in each outfit and a lot of black, off-white and red colour has been used here. To give a rich, warm and wintery feel, I have used fabrics like brocade, silk, satin and crêpe and used appliqué work, hand
embroidery, beading and chikan embroidery work.

The inspiration behind your work...

There isn’t any constant inspiration. In a profession like this, one has to re-invent themselves constantly. However, my travels inspire me the most. The different people I meet during the course of my journey, their culture, clothes, art and even food, all have a great role to play.

Who do you look up to in the design industry? Anyone who stands out...

Looking back, I would say it’s Rohit Khosla and Alexander McQueen. While Rohit was way ahead of his time, Alexander’s designs always blew my mind. Unfortunately, we lost both of them at a very young age.
Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, that’s not too far away I believe (Laughs). I see myself continuing to do what I am so passionately in love with. And reach out to more people geographically and socially.  

An advice that changed your life...

My father once said, ‘Truly love what you do’. These words changed the way I looked at life.

Three things you would like to strike off your  bucketlist this year...

Travelling has been my biggest weakness. So I would like to strike off three beautiful places that I have always wanted to visit. Leh, Alaska and see the Northern Lights.

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