Steeped in tradition

Steeped in tradition

In Transit

Steeped in tradition

J J Valaya

He has a reputation for infusing modernity into tradition, without contaminating the essence of it.

And he firmly believes that self-competition and self-criticism are totally important. “Exploration and evolution are keys to growth. The competition must be with yourself rather than with others in the industry. Keep your pace and you will excel,” J J Valaya told Metrolife.

He has observed that a lot of designers tend to rest on their laurels after a while. “The mind is like a sponge. It absorbs and then you will have to squeeze it out and take in something new and fresh,” he says. Fashion today is no longer as it was 20 years ago. A lot has changed. “It’s all about brands,” he quips. “One must strive at consistent excellence. Every designer must work at achieving a distinct look. People must be able to associate the clothing with your brand,” he reasons.

This czar of the fashion industry thinks that creativity brings with it boundless energy and this creativity rarely thrives in a closed atmosphere. It’s not just clothes, the Valayas, the company owned by J J Valaya, has branched out into luxury flower, signature lighting and interiors as well. “We try and follow the same ethos. It’s a larger than life image that we create,” he says.

At a time when competition is cut throat, the danger of plagiarism looms large. So in an effort to ward of any kind of imitation, the Valayas has designed what’s called the ‘Valaya Diasun’ which is a pattern patented by it. “It’s got more to do with authenticity than with identity. The pattern is woven into all our creations,” he points out. 

The Valayas showcased its winter fall collection on the closing day of Bangalore Fashion Week. This year's collection is inspired by a courtesan named Alika. It visually pieces together her desire that the true love she feels for a royal is accepted by him and she is finally set free of the life she was born with. “The collection reflects various phases of her dream from despair to hope to happiness, passion and indifference. Set in the subconscious, the collection is a voyage undertaken in her deepest senses,” explains Valaya.

He says he has used fabrics such as Jersey, Dupion, Georgette and fine velvets. He has carefully knit techniques ranging from distressed foils, digital printing, applique, laser cutting and the fabled Valaya embroideries to create a collection which attempts to provide a perfect blend of the past with the contemporary chic.