A Quaint Little Town - Fall/Winter 2008

'All my clothes have had other people in them'

Charles Baudelaire described walking down the streets in Paris in the 1850s as an adventure, more dramatic than any play, richer in ideas than any book. He suggested that one should aim to become a flâneur (a stroller or a saunterer). Flâneurs don't have any practical goals in mind, aren't walking to get something, or to go somewhere. What flâneurs are doing is looking. Opening their eyes and ears to the scene around them, wondering about the lives of those they pass, constructing narratives about the houses, eavesdropping on conversations, studying how people dress and street life in general. Flâneurs relish what they discern and discover. This is the mood of my collection.

I am constantly fascinated by people around me and observing their idiosyncrasies. I would always make up fantastical stories in my head about the strangers I would see everyday at the traffic lights on my way to work.

'A Quaint Little Town' is a representation of my own construction of reality. It's based on a fictional town peopled by characters inspired by people I have known in my life. It's a vision of my own ideal world which is quirky, slightly dysfunctional but beautiful as a whole.

This dichotomy is reflected in the collection which seeks to marry many contrary elements. I have worked towards redefining the notion of beauty and form with garments shaping the body rather than the other way around. The garments add new contours and dimensions to the body providing a new perspective. There are many diverse elements in the collection – a mix of prints and textures, the use of sequins and grid patterns, the use of sportswear elements in evening wear and the use of origami elements. I have used a lot of traditional handloom fabrics with modern knits and wools fusing the old and the new worlds together. I have strived to break the monotony of tessellation patterns through the use of texture and techniques of hand block printing. The collection also incorporates many weave patterns like the argyle reinterpreted by duplicating them with embroidery.

This collection also showcases the launch of my menswear which seeks to reinterpret classic menswear silhouettes with the use of unconventional fabrics and surface treatments. It is a highly personalized expression of style with which is not restricted by conventional definitions of what's beautiful

Design Philosophy

I always like to look for my ideas among the boring and the mundane. I like to pick up elements from things we are so used to seeing everyday that we have become immune to them and giving a new definition to them. I am obsessed with playing with detailing, whether it is multiple ways of using buttons or placing seams or fusing different fabrics together. It's the interplay of opposites that interests me and my garments always aspire to escape the definitions that bind them- whether it is the use of embellishment to transform relaxed silhouettes or the use of menswear detailing in feminine shapes. I am not very trend motivated, I feel my clothes should have a character that is inherent and not defined by either local aesthetic or global trends. My clothes are for confident men and women who are comfortable in their skin and who are not looking for external validation.

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